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To assess the relapse-free survival (RFS) and the factors influencing local recurrence in patients with desmoid fibromatosis (DF) treated at our centre and to determine the role of post-operative radiotherapy (RT) in improving local control.
A retrospective analysis of 51 patients treated for DF from January 2004 to December 2013 was undertaken. The RFS was calculated using the Kaplan–Meier curve. Univariate analysis was done to assess correlation with tumour size, site, the extent of surgery, margin status and adjuvant RT with RFS.
The median age was 28 years with a male:female ratio of 1:3. The most common location of the tumour was anterior abdominal wall (47%). The median tumour size was 10 cm. Wide local excision was done in most patients. Complete resection with negative margin was achieved in eight patients. Post-operative RT was indicated for 43 patients of whom 19 received RT. At a median follow-up of 37 months, RFS in the complete resection with margin negative group was 100%. RFS for the patients with positive or close margins who received RT was 79% and for those who did not receive RT, it was 87%.
Complete excision with negative margins gives the best local control in DF. The benefit of post-operative RT could not be ascertained.
The contribution of fiscal policy to restoring economic growth has waxed and waned since the onset of the global economic growth. After an initial burst of fiscal stimulus in 2008 and 2009, many governments retrenched, turning to austerity policies from 2010. While some detect a revival of fiscal activism during the past year (Davies, 2016; Ip, 2016), monetary policy has been the principal tool of macroeconomic policy in many G20 nations.
The science of studying diamond inclusions for understanding Earth history has developed significantly over the past decades, with new instrumentation and techniques applied to diamond sample archives revealing the stories contained within diamond inclusions. This chapter reviews what diamonds can tell us about the deep carbon cycle over the course of Earth’s history. It reviews how the geochemistry of diamonds and their inclusions inform us about the deep carbon cycle, the origin of the diamonds in Earth’s mantle, and the evolution of diamonds through time.
Positive symptoms are a useful predictor of aggression in schizophrenia. Although a similar pattern of abnormal brain structures related to both positive symptoms and aggression has been reported, this observation has not yet been confirmed in a single sample.
To study the association between positive symptoms and aggression in schizophrenia on a neurobiological level, a prospective meta-analytic approach was employed to analyze harmonized structural neuroimaging data from 10 research centers worldwide. We analyzed brain MRI scans from 902 individuals with a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia and 952 healthy controls.
The result identified a widespread cortical thickness reduction in schizophrenia compared to their controls. Two separate meta-regression analyses revealed that a common pattern of reduced cortical gray matter thickness within the left lateral temporal lobe and right midcingulate cortex was significantly associated with both positive symptoms and aggression.
These findings suggested that positive symptoms such as formal thought disorder and auditory misperception, combined with cognitive impairments reflecting difficulties in deploying an adaptive control toward perceived threats, could escalate the likelihood of aggression in schizophrenia.
Evidence suggests that sub-optimal maternal nutrition has implications for the developing offspring. We have previously shown that exposure to a low-protein diet during gestation was associated with upregulation of genes associated with cholesterol transport and packaging within the placenta. This study aimed to elucidate the effect of altering maternal dietary linoleic acid (LA; omega-6) to alpha-linolenic acid (ALA; omega-6) ratios as well as total fat content on placental expression of genes associated with cholesterol transport. The potential for maternal body mass index (BMI) to be associated with expression of these genes in human placental samples was also evaluated. Placentas were collected from 24 Wistar rats at 20-day gestation (term = 21–22-day gestation) that had been fed one of four diets containing varying fatty acid compositions during pregnancy, and from 62 women at the time of delivery. Expression of 14 placental genes associated with cholesterol packaging and transfer was assessed in rodent and human samples by quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction. In rats, placental mRNA expression of ApoA2, ApoC2, Cubn, Fgg, Mttp and Ttr was significantly elevated (3–30 fold) in animals fed a high LA (36% fat) diet, suggesting increased cholesterol transport across the placenta in this group. In women, maternal BMI was associated with fewer inconsistent alterations in gene expression. In summary, sub-optimal maternal nutrition is associated with alterations in the expression of genes associated with cholesterol transport in a rat model. This may contribute to altered fetal development and potentially programme disease risk in later life. Further investigation of human placenta in response to specific dietary interventions is required.
Although both the grey parrot Psittacus erithacus and the recently recognized timneh parrot Psittacus timneh are categorized as Endangered because of harvest for the pet trade and loss of habitat, the latter has a much smaller range and may be largely restricted to a few stronghold areas. In March–April 2018 we surveyed for a total of 114 hours in and around one of these presumed strongholds, the large and well-protected Gola Rainforest National Park, the Sierra Leonean portion of the Gola Transboundary Peace Park. Timneh parrots were encountered at a rate of 0.1 groups/h in the National Park and 0.3 in the buffer zone, indicating densities of 1–3 individuals per km2. These figures are similar to recent density estimates from the Liberian side of the Peace Park, suggesting that the transboundary population amounts to c. 2,400 individuals inside the Park and an unknown number in the surrounding areas. Densities of the timneh parrot may be generally low even in strongholds, its numbers may be declining steeply, and the global population size is probably lower than previously believed.
Archive color photographs—particularly of sites where sediment is no longer available—are an underused resource that potentially contains detailed paleoenvironmental information. To investigate this potential, two sets of digital images were taken, at different times, of loess, glaciolacustrine, and deep-sea sediments. The first image set was taken using standard digital cameras. Lighting conditions and sediment surface preparation varied, in a similar way to characteristics likely to be encountered in archive photographs. The second image set was taken by a high-resolution, line-scan camera with an integrated light source. CIELAB (Commission Internationale de l'Eclairage) color reflectance data were obtained from both image sets and analyzed by cross correlation. Of the three reflectance parameters (L*, a*, and b*), L* reflectance is the most compromised by differences in ambient lighting or moisture content. Textural distinctions appear to be an important factor influencing the cross correlations and produce multiple, relatively weak solutions for the glaciolacustrine sediments, whereas the texturally uniform loess and deep-sea sediments produce a single, best-fit solution. Comparison of a* reflectance records from an undated marine sequence with a chronologically constrained sequence from the same site indicates the potential to apply color reflectance to produce preliminary age models.
Dirofilariosis caused by Dirofilaria immitis (heartworm) is a zoonosis, considered an endemic disease of dogs and cats in several countries of Western Europe, including Portugal. This study assesses the levels of D. immitis exposure in humans from Northern Portugal, to which end, 668 inhabitants of several districts belonging to two different climate areas (Csa: Bragança, Vila Real and Csb: Aveiro, Braga, Porto, Viseu) were tested for anti-D. immitis and anti-Wolbachia surface proteins (WSP) antibodies. The overall prevalence of seropositivity to both anti-D. immitis and WSP antibodies was 6.1%, which demonstrated the risk of infection with D. immitis in humans living in Northern Portugal. This study, carried out in a Western European country, contributes to the characterisation of the risk of infection with D. immitis among human population in this region of the continent. From a One Health point of view, the results of the current work also support the close relationship between dogs and people as a risk factor for human infection
Sleep disturbances are prevalent in cancer patients, especially those with advanced disease. There are few published intervention studies that address sleep issues in advanced cancer patients during the course of treatment. This study assesses the impact of a multidisciplinary quality of life (QOL) intervention on subjective sleep difficulties in patients with advanced cancer.
This randomized trial investigated the comparative effects of a multidisciplinary QOL intervention (n = 54) vs. standard care (n = 63) on sleep quality in patients with advanced cancer receiving radiation therapy as a secondary endpoint. The intervention group attended six intervention sessions, while the standard care group received informational material only. Sleep quality was assessed using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), administered at baseline and weeks 4 (post-intervention), 27, and 52.
The intervention group had a statistically significant improvement in the PSQI total score and two components of sleep quality and daytime dysfunction than the control group at week 4. At week 27, although both groups showed improvements in sleep measures from baseline, there were no statistically significant differences between groups in any of the PSQI total and component scores, or ESS. At week 52, the intervention group used less sleep medication than control patients compared to baseline (p = 0.04) and had a lower ESS score (7.6 vs. 9.3, p = 0.03).
Significance of results
A multidisciplinary intervention to improve QOL can also improve sleep quality of advanced cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy. Those patients who completed the intervention also reported the use of less sleep medication.
The relationship between epilepsy and the presence of visceral larva migrans caused by Toxocara canis in Mexican children remains uncertain; however, this relationship needs to be elucidated because these parasite larvae can invade the human central nervous system. Accordingly, this study aimed to determine the frequency and specificity of anti-T. canis antibodies in the sera of children with epilepsy to determine the relationship between this parasite and epilepsy. The sera samples of 214 children were examined: 111 children diagnosed with epilepsy and 103 clinically healthy children without neurological disorders. In the sera of each group, the presence and specificity of anti-T. canis and anti-Ascaris lumbricoides antibodies, as well as the cross-reactivity between them, were assessed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and Western blotting analysis. Among the children with epilepsy, 25.2% exhibited seropositivity to T. canis. Cross-reactivity against the A. lumbricoides antigen was present in 46.8% of the children with epilepsy, whereas 11.7% of the children with epilepsy and anti-T. canis antibodies did not exhibit cross-reactivity against this antigen. The Western blotting analysis of the sera from the children with epilepsy demonstrated the presence of T. canis proteins, with molecular weights of 24, 35, 55, 70, 120 and 210 kDa, and A lumbricoides proteins with molecular weights of 70, 80 and 110 kDa. Our results revealed the presence of anti-T. canis antibodies in the children with epilepsy; furthermore, cross-reactivity tests with A. lumbricoides showed the importance of the presence of anti-T. canis antibodies in revealing the relationship between this parasite and epilepsy in children.
Intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) influence the interactions of a person with their environment and generate economic and socioeconomic costs for the person, their family and society.
To estimate costs of lost workforce participation due to informal caring for people with intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorders by estimating lost income to individuals, lost taxation payments to federal government and increased welfare payments.
We used a microsimulation model based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics' Surveys of Disability, Ageing and Carers (population surveys of people aged 15–64), and projected costs of caring from 2015 in 5-year intervals to 2030.
The model estimated that informal carers of people with intellectual disability and/or ASD in Australia had aggregated lost income of AU$310 million, lost taxation of AU$100 million and increased welfare payments of AU$204 million in 2015. These are projected to increase to AU$432 million, AU$129 million and AU$254 million for income, taxation, and welfare respectively by 2030. The income gap of carers for people with intellectual disability and/or ASD is estimated to increase by 2030, meaning more financial stress for carers.
Informal carers of people with intellectual disability and/or ASD experience significant loss of income, leading to increased welfare payments and reduced taxation revenue for governments; these are all projected to increase. Strategic policies supporting informal carers wishing to return to work could improve the financial and psychological impact of having a family member with intellectual disability and/or ASD.
Limited availability of fish oils (FO), rich in omega-3 long-chain (≥C20) polyunsaturated fatty acids (FA), is a major constraint for further growth of the aquaculture industry. Long-chain omega-3 rich oils from crops genetically modified with algal genes are promising new sources for the industry. This project studied the use of a newly developed omega-3 canola oil (DHA-CA) in diets of Atlantic salmon fingerlings in freshwater. The DHA-CA oil has high proportions of the omega-3 FA 18:3n-3 and DHA and lower proportions of omega-6 FA than conventional plant oils. Levels of phytosterols, vitamin E, and minerals in the DHA-CA were within the natural variation of commercial canola oils. Pesticides, mycotoxins, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, and heavy metals were below lowest qualifiable concentration. Two feeding trials were conducted to evaluate effects of two dietary levels of DHA-CA compared to two dietary levels of FO at two water temperatures. Fish increased their weight approximately 20-fold at 16 °C and 12-fold at 12 °C during the experimental periods, with equal growth in salmon fed the FO diets compared to DHA-CA diets. Salmon fed DHA-CA diets had approximately the same EPA+DHA content in whole body as salmon fed FO diets. Gene expression, lipid composition, and oxidative stress related enzyme activities showed only minor differences between the dietary groups and the effects were mostly a result of dietary oil level, rather than the oil source. The results demonstrated that DHA-CA is a safe and effective replacement for FO in diets of Atlantic salmon during the sensitive fingerling life-stage.
Anecdotal evidence suggests the use of bolus tube feeding is increasing in long term home enteral tube feed (HETF) patients. A cross-sectional survey to assess the prevalence of bolus tube feeding and to characterise these patients was undertaken. Dietitians from 10 centres across the UK collected data on all adult HETF patients on the dietetic caseload receiving bolus tube feeding, (n=604, 60% male, age 58years). Demographic data, reasons for tube and bolus feeding, tube and equipment types, feeding method and patients’ complete tube feeding regimens were recorded. Over a third of patients receiving HETF used bolus feeding (37%). Patients were long-term tube fed (4.1years tube feeding, 3.5years bolus tube feeding), living at home (71%) and sedentary (70%). The majority were head and neck cancer patients (22%) who were significantly more active (79%) and lived at home (97%), while those with cerebral palsy (12%) were typically younger (age 31years) but sedentary (94%). Most patients used bolus feeding as their sole feeding method (46%), because it was quick and easy to use, as a top up to oral diet or to mimic meal times. Importantly, oral nutritional supplements (ONS) were used for bolus feeding in 85% of patients, with 51% of these being compact-style ONS (2.4kcal/ml, 125ml). This survey shows that bolus tube feeding is common amongst UK HETF patients, is used by a wide variety of patient groups and can be adapted to meet the needs of a variety of patients, clinical conditions, nutritional requirements and lifestyles.
In recent years, the discovery of massive quasars at
has provided a striking challenge to our understanding of the origin and growth of supermassive black holes in the early Universe. Mounting observational and theoretical evidence indicates the viability of massive seeds, formed by the collapse of supermassive stars, as a progenitor model for such early, massive accreting black holes. Although considerable progress has been made in our theoretical understanding, many questions remain regarding how (and how often) such objects may form, how they live and die, and how next generation observatories may yield new insight into the origin of these primordial titans. This review focusses on our present understanding of this remarkable formation scenario, based on the discussions held at the Monash Prato Centre from November 20 to 24, 2017, during the workshop ‘Titans of the Early Universe: The Origin of the First Supermassive Black Holes’.