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Functional circuits of the human brain emerge and change dramatically over the second half of gestation. It is possible that variation in neural functional system connectivity in utero predicts individual differences in infant behavioral development, but this possibility has yet to be examined. The current study examines the association between fetal sensorimotor brain system functional connectivity and infant postnatal motor ability. Resting-state functional connectivity data was obtained in 96 healthy human fetuses during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Infant motor ability was measured 7 months after birth using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development. Increased connectivity between the emerging motor network and regions of the prefrontal cortex, temporal lobes, posterior cingulate, and supplementary motor regions was observed in infants that showed more mature motor functions. In addition, females demonstrated stronger fetal-brain to infant-behavior associations. These observations extend prior longitudinal research back into prenatal brain development and raise exciting new ideas about the advent of risk and the ontogeny of early sex differences.
BACKGROUND: IGTS is a rare phenomenon of paradoxical germ cell tumor (GCT) growth during or following treatment despite normalization of tumor markers. We sought to evaluate the frequency, clinical characteristics and outcome of IGTS in patients in 21 North-American and Australian institutions. METHODS: Patients with IGTS diagnosed from 2000-2017 were retrospectively evaluated. RESULTS: Out of 739 GCT diagnoses, IGTS was identified in 33 patients (4.5%). IGTS occurred in 9/191 (4.7%) mixed-malignant GCTs, 4/22 (18.2%) immature teratomas (ITs), 3/472 (0.6%) germinomas/germinomas with mature teratoma, and in 17 secreting non-biopsied tumours. Median age at GCT diagnosis was 10.9 years (range 1.8-19.4). Male gender (84%) and pineal location (88%) predominated. Of 27 patients with elevated markers, median serum AFP and Beta-HCG were 70 ng/mL (range 9.2-932) and 44 IU/L (range 4.2-493), respectively. IGTS occurred at a median time of 2 months (range 0.5-32) from diagnosis, during chemotherapy in 85%, radiation in 3%, and after treatment completion in 12%. Surgical resection was attempted in all, leading to gross total resection in 76%. Most patients (79%) resumed GCT chemotherapy/radiation after surgery. At a median follow-up of 5.3 years (range 0.3-12), all but 2 patients are alive (1 succumbed to progressive disease, 1 to malignant transformation of GCT). CONCLUSION: IGTS occurred in less than 5% of patients with GCT and most commonly after initiation of chemotherapy. IGTS was more common in patients with IT-only on biopsy than with mixed-malignant GCT. Surgical resection is a principal treatment modality. Survival outcomes for patients who developed IGTS are favourable.
We present preliminary analysis of new HST observations of the transiting extrasolar planet HD 209458b. Photometric observations were obtained with the Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS) on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), providing milli-mag precision and high time resolution (40 Hz). The FGS photometry allows us to derive precise stellar/orbital parameters (ephemeris, inclination, limb darkening) and planetary radius, and also allows a search for the presence of planetary rings and satellites. We discuss preliminary results and two approaches to modelling the observations.
Efforts to support the scale-up of integrated mental health care in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) need to focus on building human resource capacity in health system strengthening, as well as in the direct provision of mental health care. In a companion editorial, we describe a range of capacity-building activities that are being implemented by a multi-country research consortium (Emerald: Emerging mental health systems in low- and middle-income countries) for (1) service users and caregivers, (2) service planners and policy-makers and (3) researchers in six LMICs (Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda). In this paper, we focus on the methodology being used to evaluate the impact of capacity-building in these three target groups. We first review the evidence base for approaches to evaluation of capacity-building, highlighting the gaps in this area. We then describe the adaptation of best practice for the Emerald capacity-building evaluation. The resulting mixed method evaluation framework was tailored to each target group and to each country context. We identified a need to expand the evidence base on indicators of successful capacity-building across the different target groups. To address this, we developed an evaluation plan to measure the adequacy and usefulness of quantitative capacity-building indicators when compared with qualitative evaluation. We argue that evaluation needs to be an integral part of capacity-building activities and that expertise needs to be built in methods of evaluation. The Emerald evaluation provides a potential model for capacity-building evaluation across key stakeholder groups and promises to extend understanding of useful indicators of success.
Suicidal behaviour is an under-reported and hidden cause of death in most low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) due to lack of national systematic reporting for cause-specific mortality, high levels of stigma and religious or cultural sanctions. The lack of information on non-fatal suicidal behaviour (ideation, plans and attempts) in LMIC is a major barrier to design and implementation of prevention strategies. This study aims to determine the prevalence of non-fatal suicidal behaviour within community- and health facility-based populations in LMIC.
Twelve-month prevalence of suicidal ideation, plans and attempts were established through community samples (n = 6689) and primary care attendees (n = 6470) from districts in Ethiopia, Uganda, South Africa, India and Nepal using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview suicidality module. Participants were also screened for depression and alcohol use disorder.
We found that one out of ten persons (10.3%) presenting at primary care facilities reported suicidal ideation within the past year, and 1 out of 45 (2.2%) reported attempting suicide in the same period. The range of suicidal ideation was 3.5–11.1% in community samples and 5.0–14.8% in health facility samples. A higher proportion of facility attendees reported suicidal ideation than community residents (10.3 and 8.1%, respectively). Adults in the South African facilities were most likely to endorse suicidal ideation (14.8%), planning (9.5%) and attempts (7.4%). Risk profiles associated with suicidal behaviour (i.e. being female, younger age, current mental disorders and lower educational and economic status) were highly consistent across countries.
The high prevalence of suicidal ideation in primary care points towards important opportunities to implement suicide risk reduction initiatives. Evidence-supported strategies including screening and treatment of depression in primary care can be implemented through the World Health Organization's mental health Global Action Programme suicide prevention and depression treatment guidelines. Suicidal ideation and behaviours in the community sample will require detection strategies to identify at risks persons not presenting to health facilities.
Two large earthquakes in 2015 caused widespread destruction in Nepal. This study aimed to examine frequency of common mental health and psychosocial problems and their correlates following the earthquakes.
A stratified multi-stage cluster sampling design was employed to randomly select 513 participants (aged 16 and above) from three earthquake-affected districts in Nepal: Kathmandu, Gorkha and Sindhupalchowk, 4 months after the second earthquake. Outcomes were selected based on qualitative preparatory research and included symptoms of depression and anxiety (Hopkins Symptom Checklist-25); post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD Checklist-Civilian); hazardous alcohol use (AUDIT-C); symptoms indicating severe psychological distress (WHO-UNHCR Assessment Schedule of Serious Symptoms in Humanitarian Settings (WASSS)); suicidal ideation (Composite International Diagnostic Interview); perceived needs (Humanitarian Emergency Settings Perceived Needs Scale (HESPER)); and functional impairment (locally developed scale).
A substantial percentage of participants scored above validated cut-off scores for depression (34.3%, 95% CI 28.4–40.4) and anxiety (33.8%, 95% CI 27.6–40.6). Hazardous alcohol use was reported by 20.4% (95% CI 17.1–24.3) and 10.9% (95% CI 8.8–13.5) reported suicidal ideation. Forty-two percent reported that ‘distress’ was a serious problem in their community. Anger that was out of control (symptom from the WASSS) was reported by 33.7% (95% CI 29.5–38.2). Fewer people had elevated rates of PTSD symptoms above a validated cut-off score (5.2%, 95% CI 3.9–6.8), and levels of functional impairment were also relatively low. Correlates of elevated symptom scores were female gender, lower caste and greater number of perceived needs. Residing in Gorkha and Sindhupalchowk districts and lower caste were also associated with greater perceived needs. Higher levels of impaired functioning were associated with greater odds of depression and anxiety symptoms; impaired functioning was less strongly associated with PTSD symptoms.
Four months after the earthquakes in Nepal, one out of three adults experienced symptoms of depression and distressing levels of anger, one out of five engaged in hazardous drinking, and one out of ten had suicidal thoughts. However, posttraumatic stress symptoms and functional impairment were comparatively less frequent. Taken together, the findings suggest that there were significant levels of psychological distress but likely low levels of disorder. The findings highlight the importance of indicated prevention strategies to reduce the risk of distress progressing to disorder within post-disaster mental health systems of care.
The ablation areas of debris-covered glaciers typically consist of a complex mosaic of surface features with contrasting processes and rates of mass loss. This greatly complicates glacier response to climate change, and increases the uncertainty of predictive models. In this paper we present a series of high-resolution DEMs and repeat lake bathymetric surveys on Ngozumpa Glacier, Nepal, to study processes and patterns of mass loss on a Himalayan debris-covered glacier in unprecedented detail. Most mass loss occurs by melt below supraglacial debris, and melt and calving of ice cliffs (backwasting). Although ice cliffs cover only ~5% of the area of the lower tongue, they account for 40% of the ablation. The surface debris layer is subject to frequent re-distribution by slope processes, resulting in large spatial and temporal differences in debris-layer thickness, enhancing or inhibiting local ablation rates and encouraging continuous topographic inversion. A moraine-dammed lake on the lower glacier tongue (Spillway Lake) underwent a period of rapid expansion from 2001 to 2009, but later experienced a reduction of area and volume as a result of lake level lowering and sediment redistribution. Rapid lake growth will likely resume in the near future, and may eventually become up to 7 km long.
This study aims to describe in detail the temporal dynamics of E. coli O157 shedding and risk factors for shedding in a grass-fed beef herd. During a 9-month period, 23 beef cows were sampled twice a week (58 sampling points) and E. coli O157 was enumerated from faecal samples. Isolates were screened by PCR for presence of rfbE, stx1 and stx2. The prevalence per sampling day ranged from 0% to 57%. This study demonstrates that many members of the herd were concurrently shedding E. coli O157. Occurrence of rainfall (P < 0·01), feeding silage (P < 0·01) and lactating (P < 0·01) were found to be predictors of shedding. Moving cattle to a new paddock had a negative effect on shedding. This approach, based on short-interval sampling, confirms the known variability of shedding within a herd and highlights that high shedding events are rare.
Study of illness characteristics and symptoms in a young population with psychosis can assist for understanding of their needs, and can inform service planning strategies. The aims of the current study were to describe illness characteristics and symptoms of a first episode psychosis (FEP) sample aged 25 years and under, and compare with a sample aged over 25 years.
Interviews were conducted for 437 individuals aged 16–65 years presenting with suspected psychosis between 2005 and 2012 in a defined catchment area (population of 390 000) using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM IV to determine the presence of a psychosis diagnosis. Individuals with confirmed psychosis were assessed using standardised instruments to determine illness characteristics at first presentation.
Among the 25 years, and under FEP sample, 23.9% had their first onset of symptoms (prodromal or psychotic) before 18 years of age. After controlling for confounders, the sample aged 25 years and under had a significantly shorter log transformed duration of untreated psychosis (p=0.002), more negative symptoms (p=0.045) and greater frequency of comorbid cannabis abuse diagnosis (p=0.027).
Symptom onset in a youth FEP sample frequently occurs before age 18 years. Certain illness characteristics differed across the age categories, such as greater negative symptoms and cannabis abuse in the youth sample. Overall, the findings support the provision of adequate strategies for management of negative symptom deficits and substance abuse across all ages in FEP.
Risk for depression is expressed across multiple levels of analysis. For example, parental depression and cognitive vulnerability are known markers of depression risk, but no study has examined their interactive effects on children's cortisol reactivity, a likely mediator of early depression risk. We examined relations across these different levels of vulnerability using cross-sectional and longitudinal methods in two community samples of children. Children were assessed for cognitive vulnerability using self-reports (Study 1; n = 244) and tasks tapping memory and attentional bias (Study 2; n = 205), and their parents were assessed for depression history using structured clinical interviews. In both samples, children participated in standardized stress tasks and cortisol reactivity was assessed. Cross-sectionally and longitudinally, parental depression history and child cognitive vulnerability interacted to predict children's cortisol reactivity; associations between parent depression and elevated child cortisol activity were found when children also showed elevated depressotypic attributions as well as attentional and memory biases. Findings indicate that models of children's emerging depression risk may benefit from the examination of the interactive effects of multiple sources of vulnerability across levels of analysis.
Patients with lateral medullary syndrome classically present with crossed hemisensory disturbance, ipsilateral Horner syndrome, and cerebellar signs, all of which are attributable to infarction of the lateral medulla. However, variability in the presentation of this syndrome is the rule, as illustrated in this case presentation and literature review. We propose an approach to diagnosis and management of the lateral medullary syndrome and illustrate the need to integrate clinical information with an understanding of brainstem anatomy with the goal of determining which patients require urgent neuroimaging and acute stroke therapies. The importance of recognition of this condition in the emergency department is underscored by the association between lateral medullary infarction and vertebral artery dissection. With optimal therapy, the prognosis for recovery from lateral medullary syndrome is good.
Reconfigurable nanowire transistors provide the operation of unipolar p-type and n-type FETs freely selectable within a single device. The enhanced functionality is enabled by controlling the currents through two individually gated Schottky junctions. Here we analyze the impact of the Schottky barrier height on the symmetry of Silicon nanowire RFET transfer characteristics and their performance within circuits. Prospective simulations are carried out, indicating that germanium nanowire based RFETs of the same dimensions will show a distinctly increased performance, making them a promising material solution for future reconfigurable electronics.
The Millimetre Astronomy Legacy Team 90 GHz (MALT90) survey aims to characterise the physical and chemical evolution of high-mass star-forming clumps. Exploiting the unique broad frequency range and on-the-fly mapping capabilities of the Australia Telescope National Facility Mopra 22 m single-dish telescope1, MALT90 has obtained 3′ × 3′ maps towards ~2 000 dense molecular clumps identified in the ATLASGAL 870 μm Galactic plane survey. The clumps were selected to host the early stages of high-mass star formation and to span the complete range in their evolutionary states (from prestellar, to protostellar, and on to
regions and photodissociation regions). Because MALT90 mapped 16 lines simultaneously with excellent spatial (38 arcsec) and spectral (0.11 km s−1) resolution, the data reveal a wealth of information about the clumps’ morphologies, chemistry, and kinematics. In this paper we outline the survey strategy, observing mode, data reduction procedure, and highlight some early science results. All MALT90 raw and processed data products are available to the community. With its unprecedented large sample of clumps, MALT90 is the largest survey of its type ever conducted and an excellent resource for identifying interesting candidates for high-resolution studies with ALMA.
The Vista Variables in the Vía Láctea (VVV) ESO Public Survey is an ongoing time-series, near-infrared (IR) survey of the Galactic bulge and an adjacent portion of the inner disk, covering 562 square degrees of the sky, using ESO's VISTA telescope. The survey has provided superb multi-color photometry in 5 broadband filters (Z, Y, J, H, and Ks), leading to the best map of the inner Milky Way ever obtained, particularly in the near-IR. The main part of the survey, which is focused on the variability in the Ks-band, is currently underway, with bulge fields observed between 34 and 73 times, and disk fields between 34 and 36 times. When the survey is complete, bulge (disk) fields will have been observed up to a total of 100 (60) times, providing unprecedented depth and time coverage in the near-IR. Here we provide a first overview of stellar variability in the VVV data.
Field emission (FE) properties of unstructured and patch-structured cathodes with randomly distributed and vertically aligned copper nanocones (Cu-NCs) are reported. The cones of ~28 μm height, 2.4 μm base diameter and 95–220 nm tip radius were fabricated by electrochemical deposition of Cu into conical channels of heavy-ion-irradiated and asymmetrically etched polycarbonate membranes. FE measurements of the unstructured cathodes with slowly-grown Cu-NCs of high number density (107 cm−2) and excellent mechanical stability yield stable currents up to 280 μA from an emission spot of 30 μm. For the structured cathodes with a triangular patch array of less dense Cu-NCs (<106 cm−2), well-aligned FE with ~90% efficiency is reproducibly achieved. A trade-off between low onset field (~22 V/μm) for sparsely grown Cu-NCs with sharp tips and high current limit (~100 μA) for densely grown ones with broader tips is observed. Possibilities for further optimization of such field emitters for cold cathode applications are discussed.