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Extremely low birth weight (ELBW) survivors have higher rates of shyness, a risk factor for poorer outcomes across the life span. Due to advances in fetal and neonatal medicine, the first generation of ELBW survivors have survived to adulthood and become parents. However, no studies have investigated the transmission of their stress vulnerability to their offspring. We explored this phenomenon using a population-based cohort of ELBW survivors and normal birth weight (NBW) controls. Using data from three generations, we examined whether the shyness and parenting stress of ELBW and NBW participants (Generation 2) mediated the relation between the parenting style of their parents (Generation 1) and shyness in their offspring (Generation 3), and the extent to which exposure to perinatal adversity (Generation 2) moderated this mediating effect. We found that among ELBW survivors, parenting stress (in Generation 2) mediated the relation between overprotective parenting style in Generation 1 (grandparents) and child shyness in Generation 3. These findings suggest that perinatal adversity and stress may be transmitted to the next generation in humans, as reflected in their perceptions of their children as shy and socially anxious, a personality phenotype that may subsequently place their children at risk of later mental and physical health problems.
The diet of most adults is low in fish and, therefore, provides limited quantities of the long-chain, omega-3 fatty acids (LCn-3FAs), eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids (EPA, DHA). Since these compounds serve important roles in the brain, we sought to determine if healthy adults with low-LCn-3FA consumption would exhibit improvements in neuropsychological performance and parallel changes in brain morphology following repletion through fish oil supplementation.
In a randomized, controlled trial, 271 mid-life adults (30–54 years of age, 118 men, 153 women) consuming ⩽300 mg/day of LCn-3FAs received 18 weeks of supplementation with fish oil capsules (1400 mg/day of EPA and DHA) or matching placebo. All participants completed a neuropsychological test battery examining four cognitive domains: psychomotor speed, executive function, learning/episodic memory, and fluid intelligence. A subset of 122 underwent neuroimaging before and after supplementation to measure whole-brain and subcortical tissue volumes.
Capsule adherence was over 95%, participant blinding was verified, and red blood cell EPA and DHA levels increased as expected. Supplementation did not affect performance in any of the four cognitive domains. Exploratory analyses revealed that, compared to placebo, fish oil supplementation improved executive function in participants with low-baseline DHA levels. No changes were observed in any indicator of brain morphology.
In healthy mid-life adults reporting low-dietary intake, supplementation with LCn-3FAs in moderate dose for moderate duration did not affect neuropsychological performance or brain morphology. Whether salutary effects occur in individuals with particularly low-DHA exposure requires further study.
In 2014/2015, International Medical Corps (IMC) operated two Ebola Treatment Units (ETUs) in Liberia and three in Sierra Leone when the Ebola virus disease epidemic killed over 11,000 people across Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. As Ebola cases declined in Liberia, IMC Psychosocial teams transitioned to working in communities highly affected by the epidemic. This article describes IMC's experience with developing and implementing a community-based mental health and psychosocial group intervention in a rural, severely affected Liberian town – Mawah – where 46 out of approximately 800 community members were infected, 39 of whom died. In this paper, we present how the group intervention, named ‘Social Reconnection Groups’, was developed and implemented. We then discuss intervention strengths, challenges, key lessons learnt and recommendations for how Social Reconnection Groups can be adapted for use in similar settings.
Sleep disturbance is a symptom of and a well-known risk factor for depression. Further, atypical functioning of the HPA axis has been linked to the pathogenesis of depression. The purpose of this study was to examine the role of adolescent HPA axis functioning in the link between adolescent sleep problems and later depressive symptoms. Methods: A sample of 157 17–18 year old adolescents (61.8% female) completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Inventory (PSQI) and provided salivary cortisol samples throughout the day for three consecutive days. Two years later, adolescents reported their depressive symptoms via the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). Results: Individuals (age 17–18) with greater sleep disturbance reported greater depressive symptoms two years later (age 19–20). This association occurred through the indirect effect of sleep disturbance on the cortisol awakening response (CAR) (indirect effect = 0.14, 95%CI [.02 -.39]). Conclusions: One pathway through which sleep problems may lead to depressive symptoms is by up-regulating components of the body’s physiological stress response system that can be measured through the cortisol awakening response. Behavioral interventions that target sleep disturbance in adolescents may mitigate this neurobiological pathway to depression during this high-risk developmental phase.
Despite the global significance of the Leach’s Storm-petrel Hydrobates leucorhous colony on Baccalieu Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, the estimate of 3.36 million breeding pairs reported for 1984 by Sklepkovych and Montevecchi stands as the single published population estimate for the world’s largest colony. This study increases knowledge of this population by analysing data from additional independent surveys conducted in 1984 and 1985, and by updating the population status with a survey conducted in 2013. Population estimates were derived by extrapolating occupied burrow densities to the estimated occupied area of four main habitat types (heath, forest, grass and fern), which in turn were based on proportions of habitats observed in plots (1984 and 1985) or by using a Geographic Information System approach (2013). Based on these surveys, the Leach’s Storm-petrel breeding population size on Baccalieu Island was estimated at 5.12 ± 0.73 (SE) and 4.60 ± 0.42 (SE) million pairs in 1984 and 1985 respectively, representing estimates 37–51% greater than the original 1984 survey. While discrepancies among these estimates were largely driven by the way occupied areas were estimated, our study confirms that Baccalieu Island hosts the largest Leach’s Storm-petrel colony in the world. Results from the 2013 survey estimate the current breeding Leach’s Storm-petrel population at 1.95 ± 0.14 (SE) million pairs, representing a 42% decline over 29 years (-1.4% per year), relative to the original published estimate of 3.36 ± 0.12 (SE) million pairs. The most prominent change has occurred in the density of storm-petrel burrows found in forest habitat which dropped by 70% despite forest remaining the second most abundant habitat available to nesting storm-petrels on Baccalieu Island. The cause of this decline remains unknown and is likely multi-faceted. Future research focusing on demographic studies is required to understand what is driving the population decline of this internationally important colony.
Natural disasters often damage or destroy the protective public health service infrastructure (PHI) required to maintain the health and well-being of people with noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). This interruption increases the risk of an acute exacerbation or complication, potentially leading to a worse long-term prognosis or even death. Disaster-related exacerbations of NCDs will continue, if not increase, due to an increasing prevalence and sustained rise in the frequency and intensity of disasters, along with rapid unsustainable urbanization in flood plains and storm-prone coastal zones. Despite this, the focus of disaster and health systems preparedness and response remains on communicable diseases, even when the actual risk of disease outbreaks post-disaster is low, particularly in developed countries. There is now an urgent need to expand preparedness and response beyond communicable diseases to include people with NCDs.
The developing evidence-base describing the risk of disaster-related exacerbation of NCDs does not incorporate the perspectives, concerns, and challenges of people actually living with the conditions. To help address this gap, this research explored the key influences on patient ability to successfully manage their NCD after a natural disaster.
A survey of people with NCDs in Queensland, Australia collected data on demographics, disease, disaster experience, and primary concern post-disaster. Descriptive statistics and chi-square tests with a Bonferroni-adjustment were used to analyze data.
There were 118 responses to the survey. Key influences on the ability to self-manage post-disaster were access to medication, medical services, water, treatment and care, power, and food. Managing disease-specific symptoms associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, mental health, and respiratory diseases were primary concerns following a disaster. Stress and anxiety, loss of sleep, weakness or fatigue, and shortness of breath were common concerns for all patients with NCDs. Those dependent on care from others were most worried about shortness of breath and slow healing sores. Accessing medication and medical services were priorities for all patients post-disaster.
The key influences on successful self-management post-disaster for people with NCDs must be reflected in disaster plans and strategies. Achieving this will reduce exacerbations or complications of disease and decrease demand for emergency health care post-disaster.
A 2018 workshop on the White Mountain Apache Tribe lands in Arizona examined ways to enhance investigations into cultural property crime (CPC) through applications of rapidly evolving methods from archaeological science. CPC (also looting, graverobbing) refers to unauthorized damage, removal, or trafficking in materials possessing blends of communal, aesthetic, and scientific values. The Fort Apache workshop integrated four generally partitioned domains of CPC expertise: (1) theories of perpetrators’ motivations and methods; (2) recommended practice in sustaining public and community opposition to CPC; (3) tactics and strategies for documenting, investigating, and prosecuting CPC; and (4) forensic sedimentology—uses of biophysical sciences to link sediments from implicated persons and objects to crime scenes. Forensic sedimentology served as the touchstone for dialogues among experts in criminology, archaeological sciences, law enforcement, and heritage stewardship. Field visits to CPC crime scenes and workshop deliberations identified pathways toward integrating CPC theory and practice with forensic sedimentology’s potent battery of analytic methods.
Maternal mental health during pregnancy and postpartum predicts later emotional and behavioural problems in children. Even though most perinatal mental health problems begin before pregnancy, the consequences of preconception maternal mental health for children's early emotional development have not been prospectively studied.
We used data from two prospective Australian intergenerational cohorts, with 756 women assessed repeatedly for mental health problems before pregnancy between age 13 and 29 years, and during pregnancy and at 1 year postpartum for 1231 subsequent pregnancies. Offspring infant emotional reactivity, an early indicator of differential sensitivity denoting increased risk of emotional problems under adversity, was assessed at 1 year postpartum.
Thirty-seven percent of infants born to mothers with persistent preconception mental health problems were categorised as high in emotional reactivity, compared to 23% born to mothers without preconception history (adjusted OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.4–3.1). Ante- and postnatal maternal depressive symptoms were similarly associated with infant emotional reactivity, but these perinatal associations reduced somewhat after adjustment for prior exposure. Causal mediation analysis further showed that 88% of the preconception risk was a direct effect, not mediated by perinatal exposure.
Maternal preconception mental health problems predict infant emotional reactivity, independently of maternal perinatal mental health; while associations between perinatal depressive symptoms and infant reactivity are partially explained by prior exposure. Findings suggest that processes shaping early vulnerability for later mental disorders arise well before conception. There is an emerging case for expanding developmental theories and trialling preventive interventions in the years before pregnancy.
Water exposures in healthcare settings and during healthcare delivery can place patients at risk for infection with water-related organisms and can potentially lead to outbreaks. We aimed to describe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) consultations involving water-related organisms leading to healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).
Retrospective observational study.
We reviewed internal CDC records from January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2017, using water-related terms and organisms, excluding Legionella, to identify consultations that involved potential or confirmed transmission of water-related organisms in healthcare. We determined plausible exposure pathways and routes of transmission when possible.
Of 620 consultations during the study period, we identified 134 consultations (21.6%), with 1,380 patients, that involved the investigation of potential water-related HAIs or infection control lapses with the potential for water-related HAIs. Nontuberculous mycobacteria were involved in the greatest number of investigations (n = 40, 29.9%). Most frequently, investigations involved medical products (n = 48, 35.8%), and most of these products were medical devices (n = 40, 83.3%). We identified a variety of plausible water-exposure pathways, including medication preparation near water splash zones and water contamination at the manufacturing sites of medications and medical devices.
Water-related investigations represent a substantial proportion of CDC HAI consultations and likely represent only a fraction of all water-related HAI investigations and outbreaks occurring in US healthcare facilities. Water-related HAI investigations should consider all potential pathways of water exposure. Finally, healthcare facilities should develop and implement water management programs to limit the growth and spread of water-related organisms.
Greenhouse and field studies were conducted to determine tolerance of blueberry to saflufenacil. Greenhouse studies included five saflufenacil rates (0, 50, 100, 200, and 400 g ai ha−1) and three southern highbush blueberry cultivars (‘Legacy’, ‘New Hanover’, and ‘O’Neal’) and one rabbiteye blueberry cultivar (‘Columbus’). Saflufenacil treatments were soil applied into each pot when blueberry plants were approximately 30-cm tall. Visible injury (purpling/reddening of foliage and leaf abscission) ranged from 3% to 12%, 3% to 42%, 0% to 43%, and 0% to 29% with saflufenacil from 50 to 400 g ha−1 in Columbus, Legacy, New Hanover, and O’Neal, respectively, at 28 d after treatment. Regardless of injury, plant growth (change in height), soil plant analysis development, and whole-plant dry biomass of all cultivars did not differ among saflufenacil rates. Field studies were conducted in Burgaw, NC, to determine the tolerance of nonbearing (<3-yr-old and not mature enough to produce fruit) and bearing (>3-yr-old and mature enough to produce fruit) southern highbush blueberry (‘Duke’) to saflufenacil application at pre-budbreak or during the vegetative growth stage. Treatments included three rates of saflufenacil (50, 100, and 200 g ha−1), glyphosate (870 g ae ha−1), glufosinate (1096 g ai ha−1), glyphosate (870 g ha−1) + saflufenacil (50 g ha−1), glufosinate (1096 g ha−1) + saflufenacil (50 g ha−1), and hexazinone (1,120 g ai ha−1), applied POST-directed to the soil surface beneath blueberry plants in a 76-cm band on both sides of the blueberry planting row. The maximum injury from treatments containing saflufenacil was ≤11% in both nonbearing and bearing blueberry. No negative effects on plant growth or fruit yield were observed from any treatments. Results from both greenhouse and field studies suggest that saflufenacil applied at 50 (1X commercial use rate) and 100 g ha−1 is safe to use in blueberry.
We sought to define the prevalence of echocardiographic abnormalities in long-term survivors of paediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and determine the utility of screening in asymptomatic patients. We analysed echocardiograms performed on survivors who underwent hematopoietic stem cell transplantation from 1982 to 2006. A total of 389 patients were alive in 2017, with 114 having an echocardiogram obtained ⩾5 years post-infusion. A total of 95 patients had echocardiogram performed for routine surveillance. The mean time post-hematopoietic stem cell transplantation was 13 years. Of 95 patients, 77 (82.1%) had ejection fraction measured, and 10/77 (13.0%) had ejection fraction z-scores ⩽−2.0, which is abnormally low. Those patients with abnormal ejection fraction were significantly more likely to have been exposed to anthracyclines or total body irradiation. Among individuals who received neither anthracyclines nor total body irradiation, only 1/31 (3.2%) was found to have an abnormal ejection fraction of 51.4%, z-score −2.73. In the cohort of 77 patients, the negative predictive value of having a normal ejection fraction given no exposure to total body irradiation or anthracyclines was 96.7% at 95% confidence interval (83.3–99.8%). Systolic dysfunction is relatively common in long-term survivors of paediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplantation who have received anthracyclines or total body irradiation. Survivors who are asymptomatic and did not receive radiation or anthracyclines likely do not require surveillance echocardiograms, unless otherwise indicated.
Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is characterised by akinesis and ballooning of the left ventricular apex during contraction of the otherwise normal base of the heart. We describe the case of a 7-month-old previously healthy female who presented with an unwitnessed cardiac arrest. Workup raised suspicion for non-accidental trauma. Despite progression to brain death, the severely decreased ventricular function and apical akinesis of the left ventricle improved within 40 hours of admission. This report will familiarise paediatricians with this rare cardiomyopathy and emphasise the importance of considering non-accidental trauma as an inciting event for patients with unwitnessed cardiac arrest found to have decreased ventricular function.
To date, Ireland has been a leading light in the provision of youth mental health services. However, cognisant of the efforts of governmental and non-governmental agencies working in youth mental health, there is much to be done. Barriers into care as well as discontinuity of care across the spectrum of services remain key challenges. This editorial provides guidance for the next stage of development in youth mental care and support that will require significant national engagement and resource investment.
Introduction: Aeromedical helicopters and fixed wing aircraft are used across Canada to transfer patients to definitive care. Given height limitation in aeromedical transport, CPR performance can be affected. An adapted manual compression technique has been proposed by H. Koch (pron. Cook) that uses the elbow to compress the sternum rather than the conventional hand. This preliminary study evaluated the quality of Koch compressions versus conventional bimanual compressions. Methods: Paramedics (5), registered nurses (3) and a physician (1) were recruited. Each participant performed a 2 minute cycle of each technique, were randomized to determine which technique was performed first, and rested 5 minutes between compression cycles. A Resusci Anne SkillReporter manikin atop a stretcher in a BK117 helicopter was used. The compressors performed without feedback or prompting. Outcomes include compression rate, depth, recoil, and fatigue. Results: The mean conventional compression rate was (bpm) 118 +/− 13 versus 111 +/− 10 in the Koch scenario (p=0.02) (target 100 to 120). Mean conventional compression depth (mm) was 44 +/− 9 versus 49 +/− 7 in the Koch scenario (p=0.01) (target 50 to 60). The mean percentage of compressions with complete release in the conventional scenario was 86 +/− 20 versus 84 +/− 22 in the Koch scenario (p=0.9) (target 100%). Using a Modified Borg Scale of 1 to 10, mean provider fatigue after conventional CPR was 7 (+/− 1.6) versus 3 (+/− 1.2) using Koch technique (p<0.001). On average, Koch technique improved the percentage of compressions at target rate by 26%, the percentage at correct depth by 9%, overall compression quality score by 13% and were more less fatiguing. Conclusion: Using an elbow in a height-restricted environment improved compression depth and reduced provider fatigue. From our limited data, Koch compressions appear to improve compression quality. Further study and external validation are required.
For most patients, adenoviruses cause few acute health concerns and are often self-limiting. Patients who are immunocompromised or immunosuppressed, however, are at risk for disseminated adenovirus and suffer high morbidity and mortality, without well-defined treatment options. We report the case of a 9-month-old boy who was successfully treated for disseminated adenovirus infection with intravenous immunoglobulin and cidofovir 3 months post heart transplant, tailored to serum adenoviral load and clinical response. We emphasise the importance of early identification, monitoring, and a potentially novel treatment in the paediatric cardiac transplant population with disseminated adenovirus infection.
In a survey of 471 patients, we collected self-reported weight and height data and asked about self-perceptions of provider support toward weight loss and other weight management concerns. Multivariable analysis found that respondents with higher body mass index (BMI) were more likely to report that a physician had told them that they were overweight (OR=3.49, 95% CI 2.06–5.89, P<0.001). However, this conversation was less likely to change their personal view of their weight (OR=0.62 per 5 kg/m2, 95% CI 0.45–0.86, P=0.004), or motivate them to lose weight (OR=0.67 per 5 kg/m2, 95% CI 0.50–0.91, P=0.009). Higher BMI was associated with higher weight-loss goals (P<0.001), while anticipated time to achieve those goals was increased (P<0.001). Physician involvement in weight management was important, but the patients’ needs and experiences differed by BMI. Approaches to addressing barriers and identifying resources for weight management should be tailored to individuals by considering BMI.
Bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea, Apiformes) are taxonomically and ecologically diverse, with a wide range of social complexity, nesting preferences, floral associations, and biogeographic restrictions. A Canadian bee checklist, greatly assisted by the gene-assisted approach of DNA barcoding, is nearing completion. Previous evaluation of bee diversity in Canada, assisted by DNA barcoding, was restricted to Nova Scotia, which contains about 25% of the bee species in the country. Here, we summarise efforts to date to build a comprehensive DNA barcode library supporting bee taxonomic studies in Canada, consisting of more than 12 500 barcode-compliant sequences yielding 811 distinct barcode index numbers (BINs). This appears to represent ~95% of the 856 bee species presently recorded from Canada, but comparison with known morphological species in each genus shows that some genera are still under-sampled or may contain cryptic taxa, with much taxonomic work still to be done on bees in Canada. This is particularly true within the taxonomically difficult genera Andrena Fabricius (Andrenidae), Hylaeus Fabricius (Colletidae), Melissodes Latreille (Apidae), Nomada Scopoli (Apidae), Osmia Panzer (Megachilidae), and Sphecodes Latreille (Halictidae). DNA analysis will likely be a key asset in resolving bee taxonomic issues in Canada in the future, and to date has even assisted studies of well-known bee taxa. Here we present summaries of our results, and discuss the use of DNA barcoding to assist future taxonomic work, faunal lists, and ecological studies.