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Background: Hereditary transthyretin-mediated (hATTR) amyloidosis is a multi-systemic, heterogenous, life-threatening disease. Patisiran resulted in significant improvement in neuropathy and QoL at 18-months compared to placebo, and was generally well-tolerated in the Phase 3 APOLLO study. Methods: Multi-center, OLE study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of long-term patisiran dosing for ≤ 5 years in hATTR amyloidosis patients with polyneuropathy who have completed the APOLLO study (NCT02510261). Endpoints include safety, tolerability and long-term efficacy of patisiran. Measures of clinical benefit are the same endpoints used in APOLLO including changes in mNIS+7 composite neuropathy impairment score and QoL (Norfolk QoL-DN) Results: As of December 2017, 184 of 186 (99%) patients who completed APOLLO and 25 patients from the Ph 2 OLE study enrolled in the Global OLE study. Baseline data for 211(APOLLO/placebo, n=49; APOLLO/patisiran, n=137 and patisiran Ph 2 OLE, n=25) patients included: median age 61 years (26-84); 74% males; 46% V30M. Interim safety data and 12-month efficacy results will be presented. Conclusions: The global OLE study includes a diverse population of hATTR amyloidosis patients. Interim data will include the long-term safety and maintenance of effect in patients continuing on patisiran, as well as the impact of treatment with patisiran on patients previously treated with placebo.
Background: When compared to the general population, researchers have reported elevated rates of mental health issues in the pediatric epilepsy population. These issues have been found to be especially problematic around the time of transition from pediatric to adult care. This is significant because depression and/or anxiety have been found to be directly related to worsened seizure outcomes and quality of life. Despite this, no known Canadian pediatric epilepsy centers have integrated mental health assessment into mainstream practice. Methods: To explore the importance of mental health assessments, we looked at the prevalence rates of both depression and anxiety in 91 adolescents with epilepsy aged 14 to 18 (M=16.3, 51 males, 41 females) enrolled into an epilepsy transition clinic. Results: 58.3% of adolescents showed signs of depression (28.6% mild, 21.4% moderate, 6.0% moderately-severe, 2.4% severe), and 51.8% of adolescents showed signs of anxiety (31.8% mild, 10.6% moderate, 9.4% severe). Remarkably, 54.8% of patients presenting with moderate to severe depression and/or anxiety had not been previously identified Conclusions: These results suggest that in order to ensure the best possible outcomes for patients, mental health assessments should be integrated into the standard model of care for transition-aged adolescents with epilepsy.
Dysphagia is common in patients presenting with oesophageal malignancy. This study aimed to determine the clinical effectiveness of biodegradable stents to help with malignant dysphagia due to radiotherapy for oesophageal cancer and furthermore to establish the complication and re-intervention rates associated with their use.
This was a retrospective, observational study of 22 patients between 2008 and 2013. Complications within 2 weeks and episodes of re-intervention required within 4 months of stent insertion prior to radiotherapy were recorded.
Pre-stent insertion, the mean O’Rourke dysphagia score was 3·5 (median 3, range 2–5). This improved to a mean score of 2·8 (median 3, range 1–4) 1–3 weeks following stent insertion. Complications occurred in seven patients (32%) in an immediate 2-week period, including: pain (2), dysphagia requiring dilatation (1), food obstruction not requiring intervention (1), food obstruction requiring intervention (2) and upper gastrointestinal bleed not requiring intervention (1). Re-intervention was required in 18% within a 4-month period.
We propose that biodegradable oesophageal stents are safe and may have benefit over self-expanding metal stents. We recommend they are placed alongside a radiologically inserted gastrostomy in a combined procedure prior to radiotherapy planning.
The current study had three goals. First, we replicated recent evidence that suggests a concurrent relation between attention bias to reward and externalizing and attention problems at age 7. Second, we extended these findings by examining the relations between attention and behavioral measures of early exuberance (3 years), early effortful control (4 years), and concurrent effortful control (7 years), as well as later behavioral problems (9 years). Third, we evaluated the role of attention to reward in the longitudinal pathways between early exuberance and early effortful control to predict externalizing and attention problems. Results revealed that attention bias to reward was associated concurrently and longitudinally with behavioral problems. Moreover, greater reward bias was concurrently associated with lower levels of parent-reported effortful control. Finally, attention bias to reward moderated the longitudinal relations between early risk factors for behavioral problems (gender, exuberance, and effortful control) and later externalizing and attention problems, such that these early risk factors were most predictive of behavioral problems for males with a large attention bias to reward. These findings suggest that attention bias to reward may act as a moderator of early risk, aiding the identification of children at the highest risk for later behavioral problems.
The Commensal Real-time Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder Fast Transients survey is the first extensive astronomical survey using phased array feeds. Since January 2017, it has been searching for fast radio bursts in fly’s eye mode. Here, we present a calculation of the sensitivity and total exposure of the survey that detected the first 20 of these bursts, using the pulsars B1641-45 and B0833-45 as calibrators. The beamshape, antenna-dependent system noise, and the effects of radio-frequency interference and fluctuations during commissioning are quantified. Effective survey exposures and sensitivities are calculated as a function of the source counts distribution. Statistical ‘stat’ and systematics ‘sys’ effects are treated separately. The implied fast radio burst rate is significantly lower than the 37 sky−1 day−1 calculated using nominal exposures and sensitivities for this same sample by Shannon et al. (2018). At the Euclidean (best-fit) power-law index of −1.5 (−2.2), the rate is
(sys) ± 3.6 (stat) sky−1 day−1 (
(sys) ± 2.8 (stat) sky−1 day−1) above a threshold of 56.6 ± 6.6(sys) Jy ms (40.4 ± 1.2(sys) Jy ms). This strongly suggests that these calculations be performed for other FRB-hunting experiments, allowing meaningful comparisons to be made between them.
In the past few years, there has been an unprecedented increase in the number of forcibly displaced migrants worldwide, of which a substantial proportion is refugees and asylum seekers. Refugees and asylum seekers may experience high levels of psychological distress, and show high rates of mental health conditions. It is therefore timely and particularly relevant to assess whether current evidence supports the provision of psychosocial interventions for this population. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the efficacy and acceptability of psychosocial interventions compared with control conditions (treatment as usual/no treatment, waiting list, psychological placebo) aimed at reducing mental health problems in distressed refugees and asylum seekers.
We used Cochrane procedures for conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis of RCTs. We searched for published and unpublished RCTs assessing the efficacy and acceptability of psychosocial interventions in adults and children asylum seekers and refugees with psychological distress. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depressive and anxiety symptoms at post-intervention were the primary outcomes. Secondary outcomes include: PTSD, depressive and anxiety symptoms at follow-up, functioning, quality of life and dropouts due to any reason.
We included 26 studies with 1959 participants. Meta-analysis of RCTs revealed that psychosocial interventions have a clinically significant beneficial effect on PTSD (standardised mean difference [SMD] = −0.71; 95% confidence interval [CI] −1.01 to −0.41; I2 = 83%; 95% CI 78–88; 20 studies, 1370 participants; moderate quality evidence), depression (SMD = −1.02; 95% CI −1.52 to −0.51; I2 = 89%; 95% CI 82–93; 12 studies, 844 participants; moderate quality evidence) and anxiety outcomes (SMD = −1.05; 95% CI −1.55 to −0.56; I2 = 87%; 95% CI 79–92; 11 studies, 815 participants; moderate quality evidence). This beneficial effect was maintained at 1 month or longer follow-up, which is extremely important for populations exposed to ongoing post-migration stressors. For the other secondary outcomes, we identified a non-significant trend in favour of psychosocial interventions. Most evidence supported interventions based on cognitive behavioural therapies with a trauma-focused component. Limitations of this review include the limited number of studies collected, with a relatively low total number of participants, and the limited available data for positive outcomes like functioning and quality of life.
Considering the epidemiological relevance of psychological distress and mental health conditions in refugees and asylum seekers, and in view of the existing data on the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions, these interventions should be routinely made available as part of the health care of distressed refugees and asylum seekers. Evidence-based guidelines and implementation packages should be developed accordingly.
Anxiety symptoms gradually emerge during childhood and adolescence. Individual differences in behavioral inhibition (BI), an early-childhood temperament, may shape developmental paths through which these symptoms arise. Cross-sectional research suggests that level of early-childhood BI moderates associations between later anxiety symptoms and threat-related amygdala–prefrontal cortex (PFC) circuitry function. However, no study has characterized these associations longitudinally. Here, we tested whether level of early-childhood BI predicts distinct evolving associations between amygdala–PFC function and anxiety symptoms across development.
Eighty-seven children previously assessed for BI level in early childhood provided data at ages 10 and/or 13 years, consisting of assessments of anxiety and an fMRI-based dot-probe task (including threat, happy, and neutral stimuli). Using linear-mixed-effects models, we investigated longitudinal changes in associations between anxiety symptoms and threat-related amygdala–PFC connectivity, as a function of early-childhood BI.
In children with a history of high early-childhood BI, anxiety symptoms became, with age, more negatively associated with right amygdala–left dorsolateral-PFC connectivity when attention was to be maintained on threat. In contrast, with age, low-BI children showed an increasingly positive anxiety–connectivity association during the same task condition. Behaviorally, at age 10, anxiety symptoms did not relate to fluctuations in attention bias (attention bias variability, ABV) in either group; by age 13, low-BI children showed a negative anxiety–ABV association, whereas high-BI children showed a positive anxiety–ABV association.
Early-childhood BI levels predict distinct neurodevelopmental pathways to pediatric anxiety symptoms. These pathways involve distinct relations among brain function, behavior, and anxiety symptoms, which may inform diagnosis and treatment.
A class of problems in the geometry of numbers, for which there are but fragmentary results, may be expressed in general terms, as follows. Let 5 be a given point-set and let G be a given discrete point-set, both in Euclidean n-space. Suppose that Λ is a lattice which contains G but no point of S not in G. Such lattices, if they exist, will be said to be admissible for S with respect to G, and the general problem is to investigate their properties and, if possible, classify them.
In Norway, incidence of sporadic domestically acquired salmonellosis is low, and most frequently due to Salmonalla Typhimurium. We investigated the risk factors for sporadic Salmonella infections in Norway to improve control and prevention measures. Surveillance data for all Salmonella infections from 2000 to 2015 were analysed for seasonality and proportion associated with domestic reservoirs, hedgehogs and wild birds. A prospective case–control study was conducted from 2010 to 2012 by recruiting cases from the Norwegian Surveillance System for Communicable Diseases and controls from the Norwegian Population Registry (389 cases and 1500 controls). Univariable analyses using logistic regression were conducted and a multivariable model was developed using regularised/penalised logistic regression. In univariable analysis, eating snow, dirt, sand or playing in a sandbox (aOR 4.14; CI 2.15–7.97) was associated with salmonellosis. This was also the only exposure significantly associated with illness in the multivariable model. Since 2004, 34.2% (n = 354) of S. Typhimuirum cases had an MLVA profile linked to a domestic reservoir. A seasonal trend with a peak in August for all Salmonella types and in February for S. Typhimurium was observed. Indirect exposure to domestic reservoirs remains a source of salmonellosis in Norway, particularly for children. Information to the public about avoiding environmental exposure should be strengthened and initiatives to combat salmonellosis in the food chain should be reinforced.
Exposure to armed conflict and forced displacement constitute significant risks for mental health. Existing evidence-based psychological interventions have limitations for scaling-up in low-resource humanitarian settings. The WHO has developed a guided self-help intervention, Self Help Plus (SH+), which is brief, implemented by non-specialists, and designed to be delivered to people with and without specific mental disorders. This paper outlines the study protocol for an evaluation of the SH+ intervention in northern Uganda, with South Sudanese refugee women.
A two-arm, single-blind cluster-randomised controlled trial will be conducted in 14 villages in Rhino Camp refugee settlement, with at least 588 women experiencing psychological distress. Villages will be randomly assigned to receive either SH+ with enhanced usual care (EUC), or EUC alone. SH+ is a five-session guided self-help intervention delivered in workshops with audio-recorded materials and accompanying pictorial guide. The primary outcome is reduction in overall psychological distress over time, with 3 months post-treatment as the primary end-point. Secondary outcomes are self-defined psychosocial concerns, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, hazardous alcohol use, feelings of anger, interethnic relations, psychological flexibility, functional impairment and subjective wellbeing. Psychological flexibility is a hypothesised mediator, and past trauma history and intervention attendance will be explored as potential moderators.
This trial will provide important information on the effectiveness of a scalable, guided self-help intervention for improving psychological health and wellbeing among people affected by adversity.
In this period of unprecedented levels of displacement, scalable interventions are needed to address mental health concerns of forced migrants in low-resource settings. This paper describes the adaptation and piloting of a guided, multi-media, self-help intervention, Self-Help Plus (SH+), which was developed to reduce psychological distress in large groups of people affected by adversity.
Using a phased approach that included community consultations, cognitive interviewing, facilitator training, pilot implementation, and a qualitative process evaluation, we adapted SH+ for use among South Sudanese refugees in a refugee settlement in northern Uganda.
The SH+ materials, including audio-recorded sessions and an accompanying illustrated manual, were translated into Juba Arabic. Cognitive interviewing primarily resulted in adaptations to language with some minor adaptations to content. Facilitator training and supervision led to further suggested changes to delivery methods. An uncontrolled pilot study (n = 65) identified changes in the expected direction on measures of psychological distress, functional impairment, depression, wellbeing, and psychological flexibility. The process evaluation resulted in further adaptations to intervention materials and the decision to focus future effectiveness evaluations of the intervention in its current form on South Sudanese female refugees.
We found that this potentially scalable, guided self-help intervention could be adapted for and feasibly implemented among female South Sudanese refugees in northern Uganda. These findings lay the groundwork for a future rigorous evaluation of SH+ in this context.
Do minority voters respond to co-racial or co-ethnic candidates? That is does the increased chance of substantive representation translate into increased participation? Here, we focus on this question among African American voters. While much of the empirical literature on this question has produced conflicting answers, recent studies suggest that minority candidates can significantly increase minority turnout. We argue that past work on this topic does not adequately account for the fact that minority voters in places with minority candidates may systematically differ in their level of participation than minority voters in places without minority candidates. In this study we address the weaknesses of previous research designs and offer a new design that exploits the redistricting process to gain additional leverage over this question. We find little evidence that African American voter turnout increases when voters are moved to African American candidates. We find some evidence that white voters, however, tend to vote at lower rates when they are represented by African American candidates.
Previous work has shown that amygdala responsiveness to fearful expressions is inversely related to level of callous-unemotional (CU) traits (i.e. reduced guilt and empathy) in youth with conduct problems. However, some research has suggested that the relationship between pathophysiology and CU traits may be different in those youth with significant prior trauma exposure.
In experiment 1, 72 youth with varying levels of disruptive behavior and trauma exposure performed a gender discrimination task while viewing morphed fear expressions (0, 50, 100, 150 fear) and Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent responses were recorded. In experiment 2, 66 of these youth performed the Social Goals Task, which measures self-reports of the importance of specific social goals to the participant in provoking social situations.
In experiment 1, a significant CU traits-by-trauma exposure interaction was observed within right amygdala; fear intensity-modulated amygdala responses negatively predicted CU traits for those youth with low levels of trauma but positively predicted CU traits for those with high levels of trauma. In experiment 2, a bootstrapped model revealed that the indirect effect of fear intensity amygdala response on social goal importance through CU traits is moderated by prior trauma exposure.
This study, while exploratory, indicates that the pathophysiology associated with CU traits differs in youth as a function of prior trauma exposure. These data suggest that prior trauma exposure should be considered when evaluating potential interventions for youth with high CU traits.
Specific demand of lightweight and high efficient flexible energy unit is increased day by day for its integration into bendable electronics devices. Super-capacitor is one of the promising power unit to meet the current requirement. Flexible metal oxide and polypyrrole based flexible electrode materials are prepared using electrodeposition. The calculated specific capacitances of the devices shows 0.5 mill farad per gram. The super-capacitor is ultra-flexible, stable with operational voltage window expands from 0.8 to 2.5 V which can help to reduce the number of super-capacitor in series connection to obtain the same output. In this study, a conductive polymer can be coupled with MnO2 to improve capacitance and conductivity of a hybrid structure based on MnO2.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.