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In 1988, Malaysia’s Constitution was amended to separate the Syariah and civil jurisdictions of the courts. Henceforth, matters involving Syariah (Islamic religious law) would only be litigated in the Syariah courts and not the civil courts. This move proved problematic especially since the Federal Constitution regulates all fundamental rights and liberties – including the right to religious freedom – while religion is regulated by the constituent states. State legislatures are thus empowered to create and punish offences against precepts of Islam. This chapter analyses how common law principles of administrative law have been applied and developed in Malaysia by studying their interaction with the administration of Syariah law. More specifically, it asks: How do the civil courts exercise its powers of judicial review in cases involving Syariah and the exercise of powers by both secular and religious authorities in such cases? It traces the patterns of judicial application and assessment of key administrative law principles such as natural justice, reasonableness, and proportionality and argues that while English precedents continue to be cited, these same precedents are often jettisoned and modified when it conflicts with the political power and primacy of Islamic law.
Patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders have been increasingly recognised to form cognitive subgroups with differential levels of impairment. Using cluster analytical techniques, this study sought to identify cognitive clusters in a sample of first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients and examine clinical and developmental differences across the resultant groups.
In total, 105 FEP patients in the University of California Los Angeles Aftercare Research Program were assessed for cognition, symptoms and premorbid developmental adjustment. Hierarchical cluster analysis with Ward's method and squared Euclidean distance was conducted, confirmed by discriminant function analysis and optimised with k-means clustering. The stability of the solution was evaluated through split-sample (random, 80 and 70% samples) and alternate method (average linkage method) replication via Cohen's κ analysis. Controlling for multiple comparisons, one-way analysis of variances examined group differences in symptom severity and premorbid adjustment.
Three groups were identified: severely impaired (n = 27), moderately impaired (n = 41) and relatively intact (n = 37). There were no significant differences in symptom severity across the groups. Significant differences were observed for scholastic performance at three different developmental stages: childhood, early adolescence and late adolescence, with the relatively intact group demonstrating significantly better scholastic performance at all three stages than both the moderately impaired and severely impaired groups (who did not significantly differ from each other).
The findings add to growing evidence that cognitive clusters in FEP mirror that of later-stage schizophrenia. They also suggest that premorbid scholastic performance may not just be a risk factor for developing schizophrenia, but is also related to cognitive impairment severity and potentially to prognosis.
It is important to understand the temporal trend of the paediatric severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) viral load to estimate the transmission potential of children in schools and communities. We determined the differences in SARS-CoV-2 viral load dynamics between nasopharyngeal samples of infected asymptomatic and symptomatic children. Serial cycle threshold values of SARS-CoV-2 from the nasopharynx of a cohort of infected children were collected for analysis. Among 17 infected children, 10 (58.8%) were symptomatic. Symptomatic children, when compared to asymptomatic children, had higher viral loads (mean cycle threshold on day 7 of illness 28.6 vs. 36.7, P = 0.02). Peak SARS-CoV-2 viral loads occurred around day 2 of illness in infected children. Although we were unable to directly demonstrate infectivity, the detection of significant amount of virus in the upper airway of asymptomatic children suggest that they have the potential to shed and transmit SARS-CoV-2. Our study highlights the importance of contact tracing and screening for SARS-CoV-2 in children with epidemiological risk factors regardless of their symptom status, in order to improve containment of the virus in the community, including educational settings.
There is ongoing debate regarding the relationship between clinical symptoms and cognition in schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD). The present study aimed to explore the potential relationships between symptoms, with an emphasis on negative symptoms, and social and non-social cognition.
Hierarchical cluster analysis with k-means optimisation was conducted to characterise clinical subgroups using the Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms and Scale for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms in n = 130 SSD participants. Emergent clusters were compared on the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery, which measures non-social cognition and emotion management as well as demographic and clinical variables. Spearman’s correlations were then used to investigate potential relationships between specific negative symptoms and emotion management and non-social cognition.
Four distinct clinical subgroups were identified: 1. high hallucinations, 2. mixed symptoms, 3. high negative symptoms, and 4. relatively asymptomatic. The high negative symptom subgroup was found to have significantly poorer emotion management than the high hallucination and relatively asymptomatic subgroups. No further differences between subgroups were observed. Correlation analyses revealed avolition-apathy and anhedonia-asociality were negatively correlated with emotion management, but not non-social cognition. Affective flattening and alogia were not associated with either emotion management or non-social cognition.
The present study identified associations between negative symptoms and emotion management within social cognition, but no domains of non-social cognition. This relationship may be specific to motivation, anhedonia and apathy, but not expressive deficits. This suggests that targeted interventions for social cognition may also result in parallel improvement in some specific negative symptoms.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to significant strain on front-line healthcare workers.
In this multicentre study, we compared the psychological outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic in various countries in the Asia-Pacific region and identified factors associated with adverse psychological outcomes.
From 29 April to 4 June 2020, the study recruited healthcare workers from major healthcare institutions in five countries in the Asia-Pacific region. A self-administrated survey that collected information on prior medical conditions, presence of symptoms, and scores on the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales and the Impact of Events Scale-Revised were used. The prevalence of depression, anxiety, stress and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) relating to COVID-19 was compared, and multivariable logistic regression identified independent factors associated with adverse psychological outcomes within each country.
A total of 1146 participants from India, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam were studied. Despite having the lowest volume of cases, Vietnam displayed the highest prevalence of PTSD. In contrast, Singapore reported the highest case volume, but had a lower prevalence of depression and anxiety. In the multivariable analysis, we found that non-medically trained personnel, the presence of physical symptoms and presence of prior medical conditions were independent predictors across the participating countries.
This study highlights that the varied prevalence of psychological adversity among healthcare workers is independent of the burden of COVID-19 cases within each country. Early psychological interventions may be beneficial for the vulnerable groups of healthcare workers with presence of physical symptoms, prior medical conditions and those who are not medically trained.
Clinical trial participation among US Hispanics remains low, despite a significant effort by research institutions nationwide. ResearchMatch, a national online platform, has matched 113,372 individuals interested in participating in research with studies conducted by 8778 researchers. To increase accessibility to Spanish speakers, we translated the ResearchMatch platform into Spanish by implementing tenets of health literacy and respecting linguistic and cultural diversity across the US Hispanic population. We describe this multiphase process, preliminary results, and lessons learned.
Translation of the ResearchMatch site consisted of several activities including: (1) improving the English language site’s reading level, removing jargon, and using plain language; (2) obtaining a professional Spanish translation of the site and incorporating iterative revisions by a panel of bilingual community members from diverse Hispanic backgrounds; (3) technical development and launch; and (4) initial promotion.
The Spanish language version was launched in August 2018, after 11 months of development. Community input improved the initial translation, and early registration and use by researchers demonstrate the utility of Spanish ResearchMatch in engaging Hispanics. Over 12,500 volunteers in ResearchMatch self-identify as Hispanic (8.5%). From August 2018 to March 2020, 162 volunteers registered through the Spanish language version of ResearchMatch, and over 500 new and existing volunteers have registered a preference to receive messages about studies in Spanish.
By applying the principles of health literacy and cultural competence, we developed a Spanish language translation of ResearchMatch. Our multiphase approach to translation included key principles of community engagement that should prove informative to other multilingual web-based platforms.
This study estimates the incubation period of COVID-19 among locally transmitted cases, and its association with age to better inform public health measures in containing COVID-19. Epidemiological data of all PCR-confirmed COVID-19 cases from all restructured hospitals in Singapore were collected between 23 January 2020 and 2 April 2020. Activity mapping and detailed epidemiological investigation were conducted by trained personnel. Positive cases without clear exposure to another positive case were excluded from the analysis. One hundred and sixty-four cases (15.6% of patients) met the inclusion criteria during the defined period. The crude median incubation period was 5 days (range 1–12 days) and median age was 42 years (range 5–79 years). The median incubation period among those 70 years and older was significantly longer than those younger than 70 years (8 vis-à-vis 5 days, P = 0.040). Incubation period was negatively correlated with day of illness in both groups. These findings support current policies of 14-day quarantine periods for close contacts of confirmed cases and 28 days for monitoring infections in known clusters. An elderly person who may have a longer incubation period than a younger counterpart may benefit from earlier and proactive testing, especially after exposure to a positive case.
In this paper, the generation of relativistic electron mirrors (REM) and the reflection of an ultra-short laser off the mirrors are discussed, applying two-dimension particle-in-cell simulations. REMs with ultra-high acceleration and expanding velocity can be produced from a solid nanofoil illuminated normally by an ultra-intense femtosecond laser pulse with a sharp rising edge. Chirped attosecond pulse can be produced through the reflection of a counter-propagating probe laser off the accelerating REM. In the electron moving frame, the plasma frequency of the REM keeps decreasing due to its rapid expansion. The laser frequency, on the contrary, keeps increasing due to the acceleration of REM and the relativistic Doppler shift from the lab frame to the electron moving frame. Within an ultra-short time interval, the two frequencies will be equal in the electron moving frame, which leads to the resonance between laser and REM. The reflected radiation near this interval and corresponding spectra will be amplified due to the resonance. Through adjusting the arriving time of the probe laser, a certain part of the reflected field could be selectively amplified or depressed, leading to the selective adjustment of the corresponding spectra.
Prion diseases, or Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs), are a group of fatal neurodegenerative disorders associated with a conformational transformation of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) into a self-feplicating and proteinase K (PK)-resistant conformer, scrapie PrP (PrPSc). Aggregates of PrPSc around neurons lead to neuropathologyical change including neuronal loss, astrogliosis, spongiform degeneration and deposition of amyloid plaques. Currently no effective treatment for prion disease exists. The development of novel therapeutic strategies against prion diseases has become a priority. Several reports have demonstrated that passive and active immune-based therapy can significantly prolong the incubation period of prionoses in vivo, and also some anti-PrP monoclonal can prevent PrP peptide toxicity in vitro. In this study, we have first time identified and purified anti-PrP antibodies from human intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) by using PrP peptide affinity chromatography column. The ratio of anti-PrP antibody and IVIG is about 1:1200. In vitro study indicates these anti-PrP antibodies strongly block PrP A117V peptide fibril formation and disrupt formation of fibrillar structures. Furthermore, these antibodies almost completely prevented neurotoxicity of PrP A117V peptide in cultured rat cerebellar granule neuron cultures (CGN). In contrast, immunoglobulins depleted of anti-PrP antibodies had little effect on PrP fibril formation or protection of neuronal cells. Our study suggests that human anti-PrP antibodies may interfere with the pathogenesis of prion disease and these purified antibodies may be a potential therapeutic agent to prevent or slow prion disease progression.
Impulse control behaviours (ICB) are repetitive and excessive activities that are subsyndromal, unfulfilled the diagnostic criteria but potentially challenging problem. Impulse control disorder (ICD) on contrary is an established diagnosis which requires clinical attention.
To determine the proportion of patients with ICD among those screened positive with ICB among patients with Parkinson's disease in an Asian population. The factors associated with ICB were also examined.
Eighty consecutive patients attending neurology clinic who fulfilled the inclusion criteria i.e. diagnosis of idiopathic Parkinson's, on stable dopaminergic medication for at least 3 months were recruited in this prospective cross-sectional study. ICB were identified using the Questionnaire for Impulsive-Compulsive Disorder for Parkinson's disease (QUIP). Those who were screened positive, with controls, then underwent semi structured interview based on SCID-ICD.
11.3% were screened positive for ICB; these were significantly associated with higher education (p=0.022), advanced stage of disease (p=0.026) and higher levodopa dosage (p= 0.01). The most frequent ICB was compulsive medication use (7.5%), followed by hobbyism (6.25%), hypersexuality (5%), compulsive buying (3.75%), punding (2.5%), walkabout (2.5%), compulsive eating (1.25%) and pathological gambling (1.25%). 50% of those with positive QUIP (section1) fulfilled the criteria for ICD (50% positive-predictive value) while none with negative QUIP had ICD (100% negative predictive value).
About 1 in 10 patients with Parkinson's disease displayed ICB, half of which might have a diagnosable ICD. The risk should alert the physicians of the need for routine assessment of impulse control problems in patients with Parkinson's disease.
Schizophrenia is associated with an increased risk of sudden cardiac death, traditionally attributed to prolonged QTc interval and cardiovascular risk factors such as metabolic syndrome. However, defective ion channels are also implicated in schizophrenia. This applies as well for Brugada syndrome (BrS), a rare hereditary cardiac disorder associated with an increased risk of cardiac arrhythmias, which can been provoked by various drugs, including psychotropic.
To screen whether an increased prevalence of suspect Brugada ECG is present in patients with recent onset schizophrenia.
273 subjects with recent onset schizophrenia admitted between 2006 and 2012 and 306 healthy controls, underwent an ECG. All persons who had an ECG suspect for BrS were asked to undergo a provocation test to diagnose/exclude BrS. We checked whether patients had deceased during follow-up.
20/273 patients (7.3%) and 5/306 healthy controls (1.6%) showed an ECG suspect for BrS, with a Relative risk (RR) of 4.8 (p<0.001). Thus far 12 provocation tests have been performed, confirming BrS in three patients (1.1%). Ten patients had deceased during follow-up, of which two due to sudden cardiac death. Patients and controls didn’t differ significantly on average QTc interval.
Conclusion: This study shows that a considerable subset of patients with recent onset schizophrenia have an ECG suspect of Brugada Syndrome, confirming results in a population with chronic schizophrenia (Blom 2014). This may imply that there is a common pathophysiologic mechanism involved in both disorders. Screening for Brugada Syndrome in schizophrenia is relevant to prevent sudden cardiac death.
Childhoods in urban or rural environments may differentially affect risk for neuropsychiatric disorders. Here, we leveraged on dramatic urbanization and rural-urban migration since the 1980s in China to explore the hypothesis that rural or urban childhoods may differentially influence memory processing and neural responses to neutral and aversive stimuli.
Explore the underlying mechanisms of childhood environment effect on brain function and neuropsychiatric risk.
We examined 420 adult subjects with similar current socioeconomic status and living in Beijing, China, but with differing rural (n = 227) or urban (n = 193) childhoods. In an episodic memory paradigm scanned in a 3 T GE MRI, subjects viewed blocks of neutral or aversive pictures in the encoding and retrieval sessions.
Episodic memory accuracy for neutral stimuli was less than for aversive stimuli (P < 0.001). However, subjects with rural childhoods apparently performed less accurately for memory of aversive but not neutral stimuli (P < 0.01). In subjects with rural childhoods, there was relatively increased engagement of bilateral striatum at encoding, increased engagement of bilateral hippocampus at retrieval of neutral and aversive stimuli, and increased engagement of amygdala at aversive retrieval (P < 0.05 FDR corrected, cluster size > 50).
Rural or urban childhoods appear associated with physiological and behavioural differences, particularly in the neural processing of aversive episodic memory at medial temporal and striatal brain regions. It remains to be explored the extent to which these effects relate to individual risk for neuropsychiatric or stress-related disorders.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Understanding the pattern of middle-ear cholesteatoma becomes pertinent with the rise of endoscopic surgery as surgeons decide on the optimal approach to visualise and extirpate disease. With modifications to the Telmesani attic–tympanum–mastoid staging system, this study aimed to evaluate the commonest patterns of middle-ear cholesteatoma and their implications for surgical approach.
A retrospective study was conducted in a single tertiary institution in Singapore. All patients undergoing cholesteatoma surgery between January 2012 and June 2015 were included. Staging of cholesteatoma was based on clinical assessment corroborated by radiological findings.
Out of the 55 ears included, 98.2 per cent had cholesteatoma involving the attic. The disease extended into the mastoid antrum and beyond in 43 cases (78.2 per cent). The facial recess and/or sinus tympanum was affected in 26 cases (47.3 per cent).
The majority of cholesteatoma cases present with extensive attic disease and significant mastoid involvement. In these cases, endoscopes may be best suited to adjunctive rather than exclusive use in surgery.
A scalable battery recycling strategy to recover and regenerate solid electrolytes and cathode materials in spent all solid-state batteries, reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gases.
With the rapidly increasing ubiquity of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs), sustainable battery recycling is a matter of growing urgency. The major challenge faced in LIB sustainability lies with the fact that the current LIBs are not designed for recycling, making it difficult to engineer recycling approaches that avoid breaking batteries down into their raw materials. Thus, it is prudent to explore new approaches to both fabricate and recycle next-generation batteries before they enter the market. Here, we developed a sustainable design and scalable recycling strategy for next-generation all solid-state batteries (ASSBs). We use the EverBatt model to analyze the relative energy consumption and environmental impact compared to conventional recycling methods. We demonstrate efficient separation and recovery of spent solid electrolytes and electrodes from a lithium metal ASSB and directly regenerate them into usable formats without damaging their core chemical structure. The recycled materials are then reconstituted to fabricate new batteries, achieving similar performance as pristine ASSBs, completing the cycle. This work demonstrates the first fully recycled ASSB and provides critical design consideration for future sustainable batteries.
A perspective on the current state of battery recycling and future improved designs to promote sustainable, safe, and economically viable battery recycling strategies for sustainable energy storage.
Recent years have seen the rapid growth in lithium-ion battery (LIB) production to serve emerging markets in electric vehicles and grid storage. As large volumes of these batteries reach their end of life, the need for sustainable battery recycling and recovery of critical materials is a matter of utmost importance. Global reserves for critical LIB elements such as lithium, cobalt, and nickel will soon be outstripped by growing cumulative demands. Despite advances in conventional recycling strategies such as pyrometallurgy and hydrometallurgy, they still face limitations in high energy consumption, high greenhouse gas emissions, as well as limited profitability. While new direct recycling methods are promising, they also face obstacles such as the lack of proper battery labeling, logistical challenges of inefficient spent battery collection, and components separation. Here, we discuss the importance of recovering critical materials, and how battery designs can be improved from the cell to module level in order to facilitate recyclability. The economic and environmental implications of various recycling approaches are analyzed, along with policy suggestions to develop a dedicated battery recycling infrastructure. We also discuss promising battery recycling strategies and how these can be applied to existing and future new battery chemistries.
Sub-acute ruminal acidosis (SARA) can reduce the production efficiency and impair the welfare of cattle, potentially in all production systems. The aim of this study was to characterise measurable postmortem observations from divergently managed intensive beef finishing farms with high rates of concentrate feeding. At the time of slaughter, we obtained samples from 19 to 20 animals on each of 6 beef finishing units (119 animals in total) with diverse feeding practices, which had been subjectively classified as being high risk (three farms) or low risk (three farms) for SARA on the basis of the proportions of barley, silage and straw in the ration. We measured the concentrations of histamine, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), lactate and other short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in ruminal fluid, LPS and SCFA in caecal fluid. We also took samples of the ventral blind sac of the rumen for histopathology, immunohistopathology and gene expression. Subjective assessments were made of the presence of lesions on the ruminal wall, the colour of the lining of the ruminal wall and the shape of the ruminal papillae. Almost all variables differed significantly and substantially among farms. Very few pathological changes were detected in any of the rumens examined. The animals on the high-risk diets had lower concentrations of SCFA and higher concentrations of lactate and LPS in the ruminal fluid. Higher LPS concentrations were found in the caecum than the rumen but were not related to the risk status of the farm. The diameters of the stratum granulosum, stratum corneum and of the vasculature of the papillae, and the expression of the gene TLR4 in the ruminal epithelium were all increased on the high-risk farms. The expression of IFN-γ and IL-1β and the counts of cluster of differentiation 3 positive and major histocompatibility complex class two positive cells were lower on the high-risk farms. High among-farm variation and the unbalanced design inherent in this type of study in the field prevented confident assignment of variation in the dependent variables to individual dietary components; however, the CP percentage of the total mixed ration DM was the factor that was most consistently associated with the variables of interest. Despite the strong effect of farm on the measured variables, there was wide inter-animal variation.
Patients with severe mental disorders in low-resource settings have limited access to services, resulting in overwhelming caregiving burden for families. In extreme cases, this has led to the long-term restraining of patients in their homes. China underwent a nationwide initiative to unlock patients and provide continued treatment. This study aims to quantify household economic burden in families after unlocking and treatment, and to identify factors associated with increased burden due to schizophrenia.
A total of 264 subjects were enrolled from three geographically diverse provinces in 2012. Subjects were patients with schizophrenia who were previously put under restraints and had participated in the ‘unlocking and treatment’ intervention. The primary outcome was the current household economic burden, obtained from past year financial information collected through on-site interview. Patient disease characteristics, treatment, outcomes and family caregiving burden were collected as well. Univariate and multivariate linear regression were used to construct risk factor models for indirect economic burden.
After participating in the intervention, 85% of patients continued to receive mental health services, 70% used medication as prescribed and 80% were never relocked. Family members reported significantly decreased caregiving burden after receiving the intervention. Mean direct and indirect household economic burdens were CNY963 (US$31.7) and CNY11 724 (US$1670) per year, respectively, while family total income was on average CNY12 108 (US$1913) per year. Greater disease severity and poorer patient psychosocial function at time of study were found to be independent factors related to increased indirect burden.
The ‘unlocking and treatment’ intervention has improved the lives of patients and families. Indirect burden due to disease is still a major economic issue that needs to be addressed, potentially through improving treatment and patient functioning. Our findings contribute to the unravelling and eventual elimination of chronic restraining of mentally ill patients in low-resource settings.
With the shift from deinstitutionalization to community care in mental health services, relatives of persons with severe and enduring mental illnesses have had to take over the role as primary caregivers. Disturbed family dynamics have been observed within families with an ‘ill’ member. Although schizophrenia and related mental illnesses are biologically based disorders, environmental stress (including stress within family relationships) plays a major role in the onset and maintenance of symptoms. With this study, we assume that family dynamics play a central role in the course of severe psychiatric illness and hypothesized that dysfunction within family systems is a prognostic indicator of hospitalization in the course of schizophrenia/bipolar and schizoaffective disorders.
Prospective, observational cohort study evaluating family functioning of 121 patients (schizophrenia/bipolar and schizoaffective disorder) from community at baseline and followed-up over 12-month period after recruitment. Measurements included demographics, diagnosis, Family Assessment Device – General Functioning, Perceived Criticism Scale, Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, Global Assessment of Functioning and Social Support Questionnaire-6.
Significant differences found between patients admitted and not admitted during the 12-month time period for age (p = 0.003), Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS; p = 0.026), Family Assessment Device – General Functioning (FAD-GF; p = 0.007) and Social Support Questionnaire total satisfaction level (p = 0.042) at baseline. Bivariate analysis showed that those admitted into hospital were younger with a higher BPRS score, less social satisfaction and disturbed family dynamics. FAD-GF (p = 0.006) and age (p = 0.022) were significant independent predictors for admission.
This provides further evidence supporting importance of promoting better family functioning through modified family dynamics, integrating and involving family into the care of such patients.