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Debate on the use of lagged dependent variables has a long history in political science. The latest contribution to this discussion is Wilkins (2018, Political Science Research and Methods, 6, 393–411), which advocates the use of an ADL(2,1) model when there is serial dependence in the outcome and disturbance. While this specification does offer some insurance against serially correlated disturbances, this is never the best (linear unbiased estimator) approach and should not be pursued as a general strategy. First, this strategy is only appropriate when the data-generating process (DGP) actually implies a more parsimonious model. Second, when this is not the DGP—e.g., lags of the predictors have independent effects—this strategy mischaracterizes the dynamic process. We clarify this issue and detail a Wald test that can be used to evaluate the appropriateness of the Wilkins approach. In general, we argue that researchers need to always: (i) ensure models are dynamically complete and (ii) test whether more restrictive models are appropriate.
Treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD) is imprecise and often involves trial-and-error to determine the most effective approach. To facilitate optimal treatment selection and inform timely adjustment, the current study investigated whether neurocognitive variables could predict an antidepressant response in a treatment-specific manner.
In the two-stage Establishing Moderators and Biosignatures of Antidepressant Response for Clinical Care (EMBARC) trial, outpatients with non-psychotic recurrent MDD were first randomized to an 8-week course of sertraline selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or placebo. Behavioral measures of reward responsiveness, cognitive control, verbal fluency, psychomotor, and cognitive processing speeds were collected at baseline and week 1. Treatment responders then continued on another 8-week course of the same medication, whereas non-responders to sertraline or placebo were crossed-over under double-blinded conditions to bupropion noradrenaline/dopamine reuptake inhibitor or sertraline, respectively. Hamilton Rating for Depression scores were also assessed at baseline, weeks 8, and 16.
Greater improvements in psychomotor and cognitive processing speeds within the first week, as well as better pretreatment performance in these domains, were specifically associated with higher likelihood of response to placebo. Moreover, better reward responsiveness, poorer cognitive control and greater verbal fluency were associated with greater likelihood of response to bupropion in patients who previously failed to respond to sertraline.
These exploratory results warrant further scrutiny, but demonstrate that quick and non-invasive behavioral tests may have substantial clinical value in predicting antidepressant treatment response.
Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is associated with functional limitations that can impair mobility and reduce quality of life in affected individuals. Excess body weight in OA can exacerbate impaired physical function, highlighting the importance of weight management in this population. The aim of this systematic review was to compare the effects of different dietary interventions for weight loss on physical function in overweight and obese individuals with OA.
A comprehensive search of five databases was conducted to identify relevant articles for inclusion. Studies were included that examined the effect of dietary weight loss interventions, with or without exercise, on physical function in adults with OA who were overweight or obese. Quality and risk of bias were assessed using the Quality Criteria Checklist for primary research. Primary and secondary outcomes were extracted, including change in weight and physical function which included performance-based and self-report measures.
Nineteen relevant studies were included, which incorporated lifestyle interventions (n 8), diet in combination with meal replacements (DMR; n 5) and very low-energy diets (VLED; n 6) using meal replacements only. Pooled data for eight RCT indicated a mean difference in Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index (WOMAC) physical function of 12·4 and 12·5 % following DMR or VLED interventions, respectively; however, no statistically significant change was detected for lifestyle interventions.
Our findings suggest that partial use of meal replacements is as effective as their sole use in the more restrictive VLED. Both dietary interventions are more effective than lifestyle programmes to induce significant weight loss and improvements in physical function.
Little is known internationally about return to prison from in-patient psychiatric services, including: circumstances leading to return, aftercare services and subsequent patient outcomes.
To examine and describe: (a) circumstances leading to return to prison from medium secure services; (b) available aftercare and early outcomes of returned persons; and (c) implications for policy development.
Prospective cohort design with all patients (n = 96) returned to prisons from 33 National Health Service (NHS) medium secure services over a 6-month period in England and Wales. Follow-up was conducted for 1 year post-remittal, across 60 prisons.
Less than 20% of patients with legal entitlement to section 117 aftercare under the Mental Health Act 1983 were receiving care managed/delivered via the care programme approach. Subsequent pathways included: inter-prison transfer (30%), use of the Assessment, Care in Custody and Teamwork process (49%), referral to secure services (21%) and community release (30%). Less than half of community releases were referred to a community mental health team.
Findings suggest that persons returned to prison are a vulnerable group of patients, many of whom require intervention (e.g. enhanced monitoring, admission to a healthcare wing, readmission to secure mental health services) on return to prison in the absence of targeted aftercare services. More robust guidance for discharge and aftercare planning procedures for persons remitted to prison should be developed to ensure that the benefits of in-patient admission are maintained and that individuals’ legal rights to ongoing aftercare are upheld.
Adolescent dieting and disordered eating (DE) are risks for clinical eating disorders. In this five-wave longitudinal study, we tested gender-specific models linking early risk factors to temporal patterns of DE, considering appearance anxiety as a mediator. Participants were 384 Australian students (age 10 to 13; 45% boys) who reported their purging and skipping meals, experience with appearance-related teasing, media pressure, and appearance anxiety. Parents reported pubertal maturation and height/weight was measured. Gender differences in temporal patterns of DE were found and predictive models were tested using latent-variable growth curve and path models. Boys’ DE was generally stable over time; girls showed stability in purging but an average increase in skipping meals. Peer teasing, media pressure, and pubertal maturation were associated with more elevated initial DE in girls, and pubertal maturation was associated with a steeper increase in DE. For boys, body mass index had a direct positive association with DE. Appearance anxiety was associated with more DE, but there was only one significant indirect effect via anxiety, which was for boys’ pubertal maturation. Findings support the dominant role of social interactions and messages, as well as pubertal maturation, for girls’ DE and the prominence of physical risk factors for explaining boys’ DE.
Polyhalite is a multi-nutrient mineral ore containing potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg) and sulphur (S). Historically, it has enjoyed minor use as a fertilizer, but the opening of a new mine in the UK will make larger quantities available. Therefore, an examination of the performance of crops fertilized with polyhalite, or selected commercial alternatives, was pertinent and is reported here.
Four field trials were carried out between 2013 and 2016 to investigate the response of winter barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) and forage maize (Zea mays L.) to different application rates of polyhalite, potassium chloride (muriate of potash, MOP) and potassium sulphate (sulphate of potash, SOP) fertilizers. Potassium and S nutrition were the focus of these trials as they limit field production more often than Mg and Ca.
Polyhalite was found to be an effective source of both K and S for crop production. In three out of four trials, application of polyhalite resulted in similar or greater K offtake compared with both MOP and SOP; MOP application resulted in greater K offtake in one trial. In three out of four trials, application of polyhalite resulted in similar or better S offtake compared with both MOP and SOP; SOP application resulted in greater S offtake in one trial. Polyhalite and MOP treatments produced similar total dry weight in all four trials, but were slightly inferior to SOP treatment.
Online learning has become an increasingly expected and popular component for education of the modern-day adult learner, including the medical provider. In light of the recent coronavirus pandemic, there has never been more urgency to establish opportunities for supplemental online learning. Heart University aims to be “the go-to online resource” for e-learning in CHD and paediatric-acquired heart disease. It is a carefully curated open access library of paedagogical material for all providers of care to children and adults with CHD or children with acquired heart disease, whether a trainee or a practising provider. In this manuscript, we review the aims, development, current offerings and standing, and future goals of Heart University.
This study sought to compare disease recidivism rates between canal wall up mastoidectomy and a canal wall down with obliteration technique.
Patients undergoing primary cholesteatoma surgery at our institution over a five-year period (2013–2017) using the aforementioned techniques were eligible for inclusion in the study. Rates of discharge and disease recidivism were analysed using chi-square statistics.
A total of 104 ears (98 patients) were included. The mean follow-up period was 30 months (range, 12–52 months). A canal wall down with mastoid obliteration technique was performed in 55 cases and a canal wall up approach was performed in 49 cases. Disease recidivism rates were 7.3 per cent and 16.3 per cent in the canal wall down with mastoid obliteration and canal wall up groups respectively (p = 0.02), whilst discharge rates were similar (7.3 per cent and 10.2 per cent respectively).
Our direct comparative data suggest that canal wall down mastoidectomy with obliteration is superior to a canal wall up technique in primary cholesteatoma surgery, providing a lower recidivism rate combined with a low post-operative ear discharge rate.
Cognitive deficits in depressed adults may reflect impaired decision-making. To investigate this possibility, we analyzed data from unmedicated adults with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and healthy controls as they performed a probabilistic reward task. The Hierarchical Drift Diffusion Model (HDDM) was used to quantify decision-making mechanisms recruited by the task, to determine if any such mechanism was disrupted by depression.
Data came from two samples (Study 1: 258 MDD, 36 controls; Study 2: 23 MDD, 25 controls). On each trial, participants indicated which of two similar stimuli was presented; correct identifications were rewarded. Quantile-probability plots and the HDDM quantified the impact of MDD on response times (RT), speed of evidence accumulation (drift rate), and the width of decision thresholds, among other parameters.
RTs were more positively skewed in depressed v. healthy adults, and the HDDM revealed that drift rates were reduced—and decision thresholds were wider—in the MDD groups. This pattern suggests that depressed adults accumulated the evidence needed to make decisions more slowly than controls did.
Depressed adults responded slower than controls in both studies, and poorer performance led the MDD group to receive fewer rewards than controls in Study 1. These results did not reflect a sensorimotor deficit but were instead due to sluggish evidence accumulation. Thus, slowed decision-making—not slowed perception or response execution—caused the performance deficit in MDD. If these results generalize to other tasks, they may help explain the broad cognitive deficits seen in depression.
Fatigue syndromes (FSs) affect large numbers of individuals, yet evidence from epidemiological studies on adverse outcomes, such as premature death, is limited.
Cohort study involving 385 general practices in England that contributed to the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) with linked inpatient Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) and Office for National Statistics (ONS) cause of death information. A total of 10 477 patients aged 15 years and above, diagnosed with a FS during 2000–2014, were individually matched with up to 20 comparator patients without a history of having a FS. Prevalence ratios (PRs) were estimated to compare the FS and comparison cohorts on clinical characteristics. Adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for subsequent adverse outcomes were estimated from stratified Cox regression models.
Among patients diagnosed with FSs, we found elevated baseline prevalence of: any psychiatric illness (PR 1.77; 95% CI 1.72–1.82), anxiety disorders (PR 1.92; 1.85–1.99), depression (PR 1.89; 1.83–1.96), psychotropic prescriptions (PR 1.68; 1.64–1.72) and comorbid physical illness (PR 1.28; 1.23–1.32). We found no significant differences in risks for: all-cause mortality (HR 0.99; 0.91–1.09), natural death (HR 0.99; 0.90–1.09), unnatural death (HR 1.00; 0.59–1.72) or suicide (HR 1.68; 0.78–3.63). We did, however, observe a significantly elevated non-fatal self-harm risk: HR 1.83; 1.56–2.15.
The absence of elevated premature mortality risk is reassuring. The raised prevalence of mental illness and increased non-fatal self-harm risk indicate a need for enhanced assessment and management of psychopathology associated with fatigue syndromes.
To compare the effects of empiric carbapenems versus cycling cefepime and piperacillin/tazobactam on the rates of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) colonization, bloodstream infections, and outcomes of patients admitted with acute leukemia.
Retrospective clinical study with VRE molecular strain typing and gastrointestinal microbiome comparison.
A regional referral center for acute leukemia.
342 consecutive patients admitted with newly diagnosed acute leukemia.
In September 2015, we changed our empiric antibiotic of choice for neutropenic fever from a carbapenem to the cycling regimen. We studied 214 consecutive patients during the carbapenem period and 128 during the cycling period. Surveillance for VRE stool colonization was conducted weekly. Representative stool samples were analyzed for VRE MLST types and changes in the composition and diversity of the fecal microbiota.
The change in empiric antibiotics was associated with a significant decrease in VRE colonization (hazard ratio [HR], 0.35; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.27–0.66), a switch in the dominant VRE MLST types on the unit, and some modifications in the gastrointestinal microbiome. There were no differences in total gram-positive or gram-negative BSIs. During the carbapenem period, we observed higher absolute numbers of Candida spp and fewer ESBL BSIs, but these did not reach statistical significance. Patients during the carbapenem period had longer lengths of stay and durations of severe neutropenia and 10% higher hospital cost.
Carbapenem-sparing empiric antibiotic regimens may have advantages related to VRE ecology, gastrointestinal dysbiosis, duration of neutropenia, cost and length of stay.
We present a brief summary of the results of a study of the effects of dynamical evolution on the stellar mass function of multiple-population globular clusters. Theoretical studies have predicted that the process of multiple-population cluster formation results in a system in which second-generation (2G) stars are initially more centrally concentrated than first-generation (1G) stars. In the study presented here, we have explored the implications of the initial differences between the 2G and 1G structural properties for the evolution of the local (measured at different distances from a cluster center) and global mass function. We have studied both systems in which 1G and 2G stars start with the same initial mass function (IMF) and systems in which 1G and 2G stars have different IMFs. Finally we have explored the evolution of the spatial mixing and found that the multiscale nature of the clusters studied leads to a dependence of the mixing rate on the stellar mass.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is associated with pervasive social deficits as well as marked emotion dysregulation across the life span. Decreased social motivation accounts in part for social difficulties, but factors moderating its influence are not fully understood. In this paper, we (a) characterize social and emotional functioning among children and adolescents with ASD, (b) explore contributions of social motivation and emotion dysregulation to social skill, and (c) consider biological sex and intellectual functioning as moderators of these associations. In a sample of 2,079 children and adolescents with ASD from the Simons Simplex Collection, we document direct effects of social motivation, internalizing symptoms, aggression, attention problems, irritability, and self-injurious behavior on children's social skills. Furthermore, dysregulation in several domains moderated the association between social motivation and social skill, suggesting a blunting effect on social motivation in the context of emotional difficulties. Moreover, when considering only individuals with intellectual skills in the average range or higher, biological sex further moderated these associations. Findings add to our understanding of social–emotional processes in ASD, suggest emotion dysregulation as a target of intervention in the service of social skill improvements, and build on efforts to understand sources of individual difference that contribute to heterogeneity among individuals with ASD.
The Roman period sees the introduction of many new plants and animals into Britain, with a profound impact on people's experience of their environment. Sweet chestnut is considered to be one such introduction, for which records of sweet chestnut wood and charcoal from archaeological excavations of Romano-British period contexts have been used as evidence. This paper reviews the records for sweet chestnut in Britain pre-a.d. 650, by critically evaluating original excavation reports and examining archived specimens. This review re-assesses the original identifications of sweet chestnut and/or their dating and concludes that most of the evidence that justified sweet chestnut's status as a Roman archaeophyte is untenable. The review emphasises the importance of securely identifying and directly dating plant material and of long-term curation by museums and archives. The Supplementary Material online (https://doi.org/10.1017/S0068113X19000011) contains details of all published records of finds of sweet chesnut.
Excessive mobilization of body reserves during the transition from pregnancy to lactation imposes a risk for metabolic diseases on dairy cows. We aimed to establish an experimental model for high v. normal mobilization and herein characterized performance, metabolic and endocrine changes from 7 weeks antepartum (a.p.) to 12 weeks postpartum (p.p.). Fifteen weeks a.p., 38 pregnant multiparous Holstein cows were allocated to two groups that were fed differently to reach either high or normal body condition scores (HBCS: 7.2 NEL MJ/kg dry matter (DM); NBCS: 6.8 NEL MJ/kg DM) at dry-off. Allocation was also based on differences in body condition score (BCS) in the previous and the ongoing lactation that was further promoted by feeding to reach the targeted BCS and back fat thickness (BFT) at dry-off (HBCS: >3.75 and >1.4 cm; NBCS: <3.5 and <1.2 cm). Thereafter, both groups were fed identical diets. Blood samples were drawn weekly from 7 weeks a.p. to 12 weeks p.p. to assess the serum concentrations of metabolites and hormones. The HBCS cows had greater BCS, BFT and BW than the NBCS cows throughout the study and lost more than twice as much BFT during the first 7 weeks p.p. compared with NCBS. Milk yield and composition were not different between groups, except that lactose concentrations were greater in NBSC than in HBCS. Feed intake was also greater in NBCS, and NBCS also reached a positive energy balance earlier than HBCS. The greater reduction in body mass in HBCS was accompanied by greater concentrations of non-esterified fatty acids, and β-hydroxybutyrate in serum after calving than in NBCS, indicating increased lipomobilization and ketogenesis. The mean concentrations of insulin across all time-points were greater in HBCS than in NBCS. In both groups, insulin and IGF-1 concentrations were lower p.p than in a.p. Greater free thyroxine (fT4) concentrations and a lower free 3-3′-5-triiodothyronine (fT3)/fT4 ratio were observed in HBCS than in NBCS a.p., whereas p.p. fT3/fT4 ratio followed a reverse pattern. The variables indicative for oxidative status had characteristic time courses; group differences were limited to greater plasma ferric reducing ability values in NBSC. The results demonstrate that the combination of pre-selection according to BCS and differential feeding before dry-off to promote the difference was successful in obtaining cows that differ in the intensity of mobilizing body reserves. The HBCS cows were metabolically challenged due to intense mobilization of body fat, associated with reduced early lactation dry matter intake and compromised antioxidative capacity.
Optical parametric chirped-pulse amplification (OPCPA) [Dubietis et al., Opt. Commun. 88, 437 (1992)] implemented by multikilojoule Nd:glass pump lasers is a promising approach to produce ultraintense pulses (
). Technologies are being developed to upgrade the OMEGA EP Laser System with the goal to pump an optical parametric amplifier line (EP OPAL) with two of the OMEGA EP beamlines. The resulting ultraintense pulses (1.5 kJ, 20 fs,
) would be used jointly with picosecond and nanosecond pulses produced by the other two beamlines. A midscale OPAL pumped by the Multi-Terawatt (MTW) laser is being constructed to produce 7.5-J, 15-fs pulses and demonstrate scalable technologies suitable for the upgrade. MTW OPAL will share a target area with the MTW laser (50 J, 1 to 100 ps), enabling several joint-shot configurations. We report on the status of the MTW OPAL system, and the technology development required for this class of all-OPCPA laser system for ultraintense pulses.
Australian mosquito species significantly impact human health through nuisance biting and the transmission of endemic and exotic pathogens. Surveillance programmes designed to provide an early warning of mosquito-borne disease risk require reliable identification of mosquitoes. This study aimed to investigate the viability of Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization–Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) as a rapid and inexpensive approach to the identification of Australian mosquitoes and was validated using a three-step taxonomic approach. A total of 300 mosquitoes representing 21 species were collected from south-eastern New South Wales and morphologically identified. The legs from the mosquitoes were removed and subjected to MALDI-TOF MS analysis. Fifty-eight mosquitoes were sequenced at the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (cox1) gene region and genetic relationships were analysed. We create the first MALDI-TOF MS spectra database of Australian mosquito species including 19 species. We clearly demonstrate the accuracy of MALDI-TOF MS for identification of Australian mosquitoes. It is especially useful for assessing gaps in the effectiveness of DNA barcoding by differentiating closely related taxa. Indeed, cox1 DNA barcoding was not able to differentiate members of the Culex pipiens group, Cx. quinquefasciatus and Cx. pipiens molestus, but these specimens were correctly identified using MALDI-TOF MS.