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Alcohol induced liver disease (ALD) is the predominant cause of alcohol-related mortality in the UK. Therefore helping patients with ALD to quit is a primary treatment goal.
The primary aim of this study was to measure the effectiveness and tolerability of Baclofen in maintaining abstinence, and to determine if this resulted in a reduction in standard measures of liver damage.
An observational prospective clinical audit was performed. Patients with ALD were commenced on Baclofen titrated according to tolerability and response up to 30 mg TDS. Primary outcome measures were severity of physical dependence (SADQ score) and biochemical markers of liver damage GGT, ALT, Bilirubin fibroelastography. These were compared at baseline, and 1 year.
Of the 243 patients commenced on Baclofen, 151 (85 female 66 male) have completed 1 year follow-up (F/U) of which 130 (86%) have remained engaged. 10 have died. Comparison of baseline (B/L) and 1 year biochemical markers showed a reduction in GGT (c2= 66.8 P < 0.0001) and Bil (c2= 82.6 P < 0.0001). There was a significant reduction in alcohol consumption (P < 0.0001 95% CI = 10 to 22). And the presence of physical dependence (c<sup>2</sup> = 77.4 P < 0.0001) as categorised by SADQ.
Baclofen is well tolerated in this very difficult to treat, high risk patient group. It has a positive impact on alcohol consumption, and overall measures of liver function and harm. A RCT is needed to confirm the benefit of Baclofen in this patient group.</div>
Approximately 30% of patients with schizophrenia experience auditory hallucinations that are refractory to antipsychotic medications. Here, we evaluated the feasibility and efficacy of transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) that we hypothesized would improve auditory hallucination symptoms by enhancing synchronization between the frontal and temporo-parietal areas of the left hemisphere.
22 participants were randomized to one of three arms and received twice daily, 20 min sessions of sham, 10 Hz 2 mA peak-to-peak tACS, or 2 mA tDCS over the course of 5 consecutive days. Symptom improvement was assessed using the Auditory Hallucination Rating Scale (AHRS) as the primary outcome measure. The Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and the Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia (BACS) were secondary outcomes.
Primary and secondary behavioral outcomes were not significantly different between the three arms. However, effect size analyses show that tACS had the greatest effect based on the auditory hallucinations scale for the week of stimulation (1.31 for tACS; 1.06 and 0.17, for sham and tDCS, respectively). Effect size analysis for the secondary outcomes revealed heterogeneous results across measures and stimulation conditions.
To our knowledge, this is the first clinical trial of tACS for the treatment of symptoms of a psychiatric condition. Further studies with larger sample sizes are needed to better understand the effect of tACS on auditory hallucinations.
Local attitudes towards carnivores often reflect the degree of damage they are perceived to cause. Consequently, understanding the interactions between people and these species is essential to conservation efforts. This study investigated local perceptions of three Cerrado canid species and current chicken management practices, to identify the potential damage they cause and how this relates to peoples’ attitudes towards these species. Results from structured interviews at 50 ranches in Goiás, Brazil, highlighted that general knowledge about Cerrado canids differed significantly by species, with interviewees unable to correctly answer questions about the hoary fox Lycalopex vetulus and crab-eating fox Cerdocyon thous in comparison to the maned wolf Chrysocyon brachyurus. Chicken coops were identified as the most effective method for preventing predation, yet only 44% of respondents employed this method. Using a perceived predation measure, interviewees reported chicken predation by all three Cerrado canids even though most of these events were stated to occur during the day, outside the species’ active periods. Reported predation events were a strong predictor of attitude. Participants who experienced predation events reported they did not like having a Cerrado canid on their property. However, 86% of the respondents agreed that Cerrado canids should nevertheless be protected. Our findings support the need to incorporate the human dimension in canid and broader carnivore conservation issues.
Antimicrobial resistance is a limiting factor for the success of the treatment of infectious diseases and is associated with increased morbidity and cost. The present study aims to evaluate prescribing patterns of antimicrobials and quantify progress in relation to targets for quality improvement in the prescription of antimicrobials in Northern Ireland's secondary care sector using three repetitive point prevalence surveys (PPS) over a 6-year period: the European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption (ESAC-PPS) in 2009 and 2011 and the Global-PPS on Antimicrobial Consumption and Resistance in 2015. Out of 3605 patients surveyed over the three time points, 1239 (34.4%) were treated with an antibiotic, the most frequently prescribed antibiotic groups were a combination of penicillins, including β-lactamase inhibitors. Compliance with hospital antibiotic policies in 2009, 2011 and 2015 were 54.5%, 71.5% and 79.9%, respectively. Likewise, an indication for treatment was recorded in patient notes 88.5%, 87.7% and 90.6% in 2009, 2011 and 2015, respectively, and surgical prophylactic antibiotic prescriptions for >24 h was 3.9%, 3.2% and 0.7% in 2009, 2011 and 2015, respectively. Treatment based on biomarker data was used in 61.5% of cases. In conclusion, a general trend in the improvement of key antimicrobial-related quality indicators was noted. The PPS tool provided a convenient, inexpensive surveillance system of antimicrobial consumption and should be considered an essential component to establish and maintain informed antibiotic stewardship in hospitals.
The World Health Organization will publish its 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) in 2018. The ICD-11 will include a refined model of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and a new diagnosis of complex PTSD (CPTSD). Whereas emerging data supports the validity of these proposals, the discriminant validity of PTSD and CPTSD have yet to be tested amongst a sample of refugees.
Treatment-seeking Syrian refugees (N = 110) living in Lebanon completed an Arabic version of the International Trauma Questionnaire; a measure specifically designed to capture the symptom content of ICD-11 PTSD and CPTSD.
In total, 62.6% of the sample met the diagnostic criteria for PTSD or CPTSD. More refugees met the criteria for CPTSD (36.1%) than PTSD (25.2%) and no gender differences were observed. Latent class analysis results identified three distinct groups: (1) a PTSD class, (2) a CPTSD class and (3) a low symptom class. Class membership was significantly predicted by levels of functional impairment.
Support for the discriminant validity of ICD-11 PTSD and CPTSD was observed for the first time within a sample of refugees. In support of the cross-cultural validity of the ICD-11 proposals, the prevalence of PTSD and CPTSD were similar to those observed in culturally distinct contexts.
Stars in low-mass dwarf galaxies show a larger range in their chemical properties than those in the Milky Way halo. The slower star formation efficiency make dwarf galaxies ideal systems for testing nucleosynthetic yields. Not only are alpha-poor stars found at lower metallicities, and a higher fraction of carbon-enhanced stars, but we are also finding stars in dwarf galaxies that appear to be iron-rich. These are compared with yields from a variety of supernova predictions.
We describe a laboratory plasma physics experiment at Los Alamos National Laboratory that uses two merging supersonic plasma jets formed and launched by pulsed-power-driven railguns. The jets can be formed using any atomic species or mixture available in a compressed-gas bottle and have the following nominal initial parameters at the railgun nozzle exit: ne ≈ ni ~ 1016 cm−3, Te ≈ Ti ≈ 1.4 eV, Vjet ≈ 30–100 km/s, mean charge
≈ 1, sonic Mach number Ms ≡ Vjet/Cs > 10, jet diameter = 5 cm, and jet length ≈20 cm. Experiments to date have focused on the study of merging-jet dynamics and the shocks that form as a result of the interaction, in both collisional and collisionless regimes with respect to the inter-jet classical ion mean free path, and with and without an applied magnetic field. However, many other studies are also possible, as discussed in this paper.
The Helicon-Cathode(HelCat) device is a medium-size linear experiment suitable for a wide range of basic plasma science experiments in areas such as electrostatic turbulence and transport, magnetic relaxation, and high power microwave (HPM)-plasma interactions. The HelCat device is based on dual plasma sources located at opposite ends of the 4 m long vacuum chamber – an RF helicon source at one end and a thermionic cathode at the other. Thirteen coils provide an axial magnetic field B ⩾ 0.220 T that can be configured individually to give various magnetic configurations (e.g. solenoid, mirror, cusp). Additional plasma sources, such as a compact coaxial plasma gun, are also utilized in some experiments, and can be located either along the chamber for perpendicular (to the background magnetic field) plasma injection, or at one of the ends for parallel injection. Using the multiple plasma sources, a wide range of plasma parameters can be obtained. Here, the HelCat device is described in detail and some examples of results from previous and ongoing experiments are given. Additionally, examples of planned experiments and device modifications are also discussed.
The Gaia Science Alerts project (GSA) aims to augment a precision survey of the Milky Way with a controlled, precision survey of all classes of transient phenomena. While onboard BP/RP spectra from Gaia will ultimately allow us to classify many Gaia Alerts based on Gaia data alone, in the initial phases of the GSA project it is necessary to verify and classify discoveries with ground-based spectroscopic followup. In this article, we describe a subset of the ongoing Gaia Alerts followup programmes, and some of the initial science results from this work.
The photometric observations (UBVRI) of nine cool R Coronae Borealis (RCB) stars have been collected at Mt John University Observatory, New Zealand, over a period of twelve years. The analysis of the magnitude–colour and colour–colour diagrams for the recovery phase demonstrates that all declines exhibit a similar asymptotic approach to their normal brightness. Declines return to maximum brightness along a line with essentially the same slope that does not depend on the star or the depth of the decline. Assuming a uniform obscuration of the photosphere by the dust cloud during the recovery phase, the extinction properties of the material were determined. The ratio of total to selective extinction (RV) for the RCB stars in our sample is in the range 2.5 to 4.6, indicating that the obscuring dust has extinction properties similar to that of the interstellar dust. Observations have been compared with the theoretical extinction curves for different sorts of grains.
Visual perceptual problems are common in Parkinson's disease (PD) and often affect activities of daily living (ADLs). PD patients with non-tremor symptoms at disease onset (i.e., rigidity, bradykinesia, gait disturbance or postural instability) have more diffuse neurobiological abnormalities and report worse non-motor symptoms and functional changes than patients whose initial symptom is tremor, but the relation of motor symptom subtype to perceptual deficits remains unstudied. We assessed visual ADLs with the Visual Activities Questionnaire in 25 non-demented patients with PD, 13 with tremor as the initial symptom and 12 with an initial symptom other than tremor, as well as in 23 healthy control participants (NC). As expected, the non-tremor patients, but not the tremor patients, reported more impairment in visual ADLs than the NC group, including in light/dark adaptation, acuity/spatial vision, depth perception, peripheral vision and visual processing speed. Non-tremor patients were significantly worse than tremor patients overall and on light/dark adaptation and depth perception. Environmental enhancements especially targeted to patients with the non-tremor PD subtype may help to ameliorate their functional disability. (JINS, 2011, 17, 841–852)
Twin studies suggest that global and regional brain volumes are highly heritable. However, estimates of heritability vary across development. Given that all twin studies are open to the potential criticism of non-generalizability due to differences in intrauterine environment between twins and singletons, these age effects may reflect the influence of perinatal environmental factors, which are unique to twins and which may be especially evident early in life. To address this question, we compared brain volumes and the relationship of brain volumes to gestational age in 136 singletons (67 male, 69 female) and 154 twins (75 male, 79 female; 82 DZ, 72 MZ) who had received high resolution MRI scans of the brain in the first month of life. Intracranial volume, total white matter, and ventricle volumes did not differ between twins and singletons. However, cerebrospinal fluid and frontal white matter volume was greater in twins compared to singletons. While gray matter volumes at MRI did not differ between groups, the slope of the relationship between total and cortical gray matter and gestational age at the MRI scan was steeper in MZ twins compared to DZ twins. Post-hoc analyses suggested that gray matter development is delayed in MZ twins in utero and that they experience ‘catch-up’ growth in the first month of life. These differences should be taken into account when interpreting and designing studies in the early postnatal period.
To determine the relative validity of a quantitative FFQ in assessing dietary fluoride intakes using 3 d food and beverage diaries for reference.
Parents were asked to complete questionnaires for the preceding week and diaries for 3 d for their children. Fluoride intakes were estimated from ‘selected’ foods and beverages for questionnaires and from ‘all foods and beverages’ for diaries. Data collected at 6, 9, 12, 16, 20, 24, 36, 48 and 60 months were analysed cross-sectionally.
A 3 d food and beverage diary and an FFQ collected through mail from children living in the state of Iowa.
Children from the Iowa Fluoride Study whose parents completed both an FFQ and a 3 d food and beverage diary at each analysed time point.
Correlations between daily mean dietary fluoride intake estimated from questionnaires and diaries range from 0·90 to 0·65.
A quantitative FFQ can provide relative estimates of dietary fluoride intake.
A spectroscopic survey of nearly 700 stars probing the Galactic Thick Disc far from the
Solar neighbourhood is performed. The MATISSE (MATrix Inversion for Spectral SynthEsis)
algorithm is developed and trained in order to automatically obtain atmospheric parameters
of stars. The derived effective temperatures, surface gravities and overall metallicities
are then combined to stellar evolution isochrones, radial velocities and proper motions to
derive the distances, kinematics and orbital parameters of the sample stars. Results are
compared with simulations from the Besançon model of the Milky Way.