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To assess community mental health in suburban Dublin in 2018, 5 years after Ireland’s economic recession ended.
A cross-sectional, face-to-face, household survey was conducted in a random cluster sample of 351 households in Tallaght, a deprived suburb of Dublin.
A majority of respondents (61.3%) reported stress over the previous 12 months, with a higher rate in areas of high (66.9%) compared to lower deprivation (55.5%). Deprivation was not related to rates of loneliness (20.2%), feeling depressed (20.2%), loss of interest (19.7%) or anxiety (22.5%). Mean score for positive mental health (59.3/100, with a higher score indicating better mental health) was lower than that reported in a national sample in 2007 (68/100); positive mental health was associated with not living with a person with chronic illness, self-identifying as ‘non-Irish’ and greater age. Mean score for psychological distress (76.7/100, with a higher score indicating less distress) was also lower than that in 2007 (82/100); less psychological distress was associated with not living with a person with chronic illness or disability, greater age and identifying as non-Irish. The rate of ‘probable mental illness’ over the previous 4 weeks (13.1%) was higher than in 2007 (7%).
Our findings emphasise the high prevalence of stress, especially in deprived suburban areas; the centrality of carer burden in determining mental wellbeing; and associations between positive mental health on the one hand and greater age and identifying as non-Irish on the other.
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.
This review will outline the role of visiting cardiac surgical teams in low- and middle-income countries drawing on the collective experience of the authors in a wide range of locations. Requests for assistance can emerge from local programmes at a beginner or advanced stage. However, in all circumstances, careful pre-trip planning is necessary in conjunction with clinical and non-clinical local partners. The clinical evaluation, surgical procedures, and postoperative care all serve as a template for collaboration and education between the visiting and local teams in every aspect of care. Education focusses on both common and patient-specific issues. Case selection must appropriately balance the clinical priorities, safety, and educational objectives within the time constraints of trip duration. Considerable communication and practical challenges will present, and clinicians may need to make significant adjustments to their usual practice in order to function effectively in a resource-limited, unfamiliar, and multilingual environment. The effectiveness of visiting trips should be measured and constantly evaluated. Local and visiting teams should use data-driven evaluations of measurable outcomes and critical qualitative evaluation to repeatedly re-assess their interim goals. Progress invariably takes several years to achieve the final goal: an autonomous self-governing, self-financed, cardiac programme capable of providing care for children with complex CHD. This outcome is consistent with redundancy for the visiting trips model at the site, although fraternal, professional, and academic links will invariably remain for many years.
Despite the inverse association between skin colour and efficiency of cutaneous vitamin D synthesis, in addition to the widely accepted racial disparity in vitamin D status, populations of ethnic minority are understudied in terms of setting target serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations and corresponding dietary requirements for vitamin D. In minority groups, prevention of vitamin D deficiency on a population basis is challenging due to the lack of clarity surrounding the metabolism and transport of vitamin D. Authoritative agencies have been unable to define pregnancy-specific dietary recommendations for vitamin D, owing to an absence of sufficient evidence to confirm whether nutritional requirements for vitamin D are altered during pregnancy. While the question of setting race- and pregnancy-specific dietary reference values for vitamin D has not been addressed to date, endemic vitamin D deficiency has been reported among gravidae worldwide, specifically among ethnic minorities and white women resident at high latitude. In light of the increased risk of nutritional rickets among infants of ethnic minority, coupled with growing evidence for potential non-skeletal roles of vitamin D in perinatal health, determination of the dietary vitamin D requirement that will prevent deficiency during pregnancy is a research priority. However, systematic approaches to establishing dietary requirements are limited by the quality of the available evidence and the under-representation of minority groups in clinical research. This review considers the evidence for racial differences in vitamin D status and response to vitamin D supplementation, with particular application to pregnancy-specific requirements among ethnic minorities resident at high latitudes.
Efficient milk production in Ireland in both spring and autumn calving herds is very much dependent on compact calving. This requires an early resumption of ovarian activity, high submission rate, and pregnancy rate to service. Since 1984 there has been an increase in the genetic merit of Irish dairy herds. High genetic merit animals have reduced reproductive performance due to the demands of high milk yield (Nebel and McGilliard, 1993) and the loss of body weight and body condition (Butler and Smith, 1989). However, little comparative data on the reproductive performance of dairy cows of different genetic merit are available. The objective of this study was therefore, to determine the relationship between genetic merit of dairy cows and follicular growth patterns, milk production, body weight loss, insulin and glucose levels in early lactation.
Brucellosis is usually acquired by humans through contact with infected animals or the consumption of raw milk from infected ruminants. Brucella suis biovar 2 (BSB2) is mainly encountered in hares and wild boars (Sus scrofa), and is known to have very low pathogenicity to humans with only two case reports published in the literature. Human cases of brucellosis caused by BSB2 were identified through the national mandatory notification of brucellosis. The identification of the bacterium species and biovar were confirmed by the national reference laboratory. Epidemiological data were obtained during medical follow-up visits. Seven human cases were identified between 2004 and 2016, all confirmed by the isolation of BSB2 in clinical specimens. All patients had direct contact with wild boars while hunting or preparing wild boar meat for consumption. Five patients had chronic medical conditions possibly responsible for an increased risk of infection. Our findings suggest that BSB2 might be an emerging pathogen in hunters with massive exposure through the dressing of wild boar carcasses. Hunters, especially those with chronic medical conditions, should be informed about the risk of BSB2 infection and should receive information on protective measures.
Modern conceptions of brain function consider the brain as a “predictive organ,” where learned regularities about the world are utilised to facilitate perception of incoming sensory input. Critically, this process hinges on a role for cognitive penetrability. We review a mechanism to explain this process and expand our previous proposals of cognitive penetrability in visual recognition to social vision and visual hallucinations.
The incidence of psychotic disorders varies between geographical areas and it has been hypothesized that neighbourhood-level factors may influence this variation. It is also plausible that the duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) is associated with neighbourhood characteristics. The aims of this study were to determine whether the incidence of first-episode psychosis (FEP) and the DUP are associated with the level of social deprivation, fragmentation, social capital and population density.
All individuals with a FEP from a geographical defined catchment area over a 5-year period were included. Age-standardized incidence rates were calculated for each neighbourhood factor.
A total of 292 cases of FEP were included in the study and 45% had a diagnosis of a schizophrenia-spectrum disorder. The age standardized incidence rate of FEP in the most deprived area was 72.4 [95% confidence interval (CI) 26.4–162.7] per 100 000 person-years compared with 21.5 (95% CI 17.6–26.0) per 100 000 person-years in the most affluent areas. This represents a 3.4-fold increase in FEP incidence in the most deprived areas. The incidence of FEP was also increased in neighbourhoods that were more socially fragmented [incidence rate ratio (IRR) = 2.40, 95% CI 1.05–5.51, p = 0.04] and there was a trend for the incidence to be increased in neighbourhoods with lower social capital (IRR = 1.43, 95% CI 0.99–2.06, p = 0.05). The median DUP was 4 months and was higher in more socially fragmented neighbourhoods.
The incidence of psychotic disorders is related to neighbourhood factors and it may be useful to consider neighbourhood factors when allocating resources for early intervention services.
Study of illness characteristics and symptoms in a young population with psychosis can assist for understanding of their needs, and can inform service planning strategies. The aims of the current study were to describe illness characteristics and symptoms of a first episode psychosis (FEP) sample aged 25 years and under, and compare with a sample aged over 25 years.
Interviews were conducted for 437 individuals aged 16–65 years presenting with suspected psychosis between 2005 and 2012 in a defined catchment area (population of 390 000) using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM IV to determine the presence of a psychosis diagnosis. Individuals with confirmed psychosis were assessed using standardised instruments to determine illness characteristics at first presentation.
Among the 25 years, and under FEP sample, 23.9% had their first onset of symptoms (prodromal or psychotic) before 18 years of age. After controlling for confounders, the sample aged 25 years and under had a significantly shorter log transformed duration of untreated psychosis (p=0.002), more negative symptoms (p=0.045) and greater frequency of comorbid cannabis abuse diagnosis (p=0.027).
Symptom onset in a youth FEP sample frequently occurs before age 18 years. Certain illness characteristics differed across the age categories, such as greater negative symptoms and cannabis abuse in the youth sample. Overall, the findings support the provision of adequate strategies for management of negative symptom deficits and substance abuse across all ages in FEP.
We explored the use of galvanostatic electrochemical deposition of Pt for cost-effective fabrication of interconnects in flexible implantable bio-medical devices. Initial studies were done on coupons diced from 200 mm Si wafers coated with PVD TiN. Based on the physical and chemical properties of the electrodeposited Pt films, optimal conditions were chosen for through-mask plating of centimeters long Pt lines on flexible, medical grade, releasable polyimide layers. Possibility for further up-scaling was considered with special emphasis on high throughput manufacturing of Pt interconnects with good adhesion to TiN/flexible substrates, low impurity content and resistivity, and acceptable roughness and uniformity.
Human milk oligosaccharides (HMO) have been shown to interact directly with immune cells. However, large quantities of HMO are required for intervention or clinical studies, but these are unavailable in most cases. In this respect, bovine milk is potentially an excellent source of commercially viable analogues of these unique molecules. In the present study, we compared the transcriptional response of colonic epithelial cells (HT-29) to the entire pool of HMO and bovine colostrum oligosaccharides (BCO) to determine whether the oligosaccharides from bovine milk had effects on gene expression that were similar to those of their human counterparts. Gene set enrichment analysis of the transcriptional data revealed that there were a number of similar biological processes that may be influenced by both treatments including a response to stimulus, signalling, locomotion, and multicellular, developmental and immune system processes. For a more detailed insight into the effects of milk oligosaccharides, the effect on the expression of immune system-associated glycogenes was chosen as a case study when performing validation studies. Glycogenes in the current context are genes that are directly or indirectly regulated in the presence of glycans and/or glycoconjugates. RT-PCR analysis revealed that HMO and BCO influenced the expression of cytokines (IL-1β, IL-8, colony-stimulating factor 2 (granulocyte–macrophage) (GM-CSF2), IL-17C and platelet factor 4 (PF4)), chemokines (chemokine (C–X–C motif) ligand 1 (CXCL1), chemokine (C–X–C motif) ligand 3 (CXCL3), chemokine (C–C motif) ligand 20 (CCL20), chemokine (C–X–C motif) ligand 2 (CXCL2), chemokine (C–X–C motif) ligand 6 (CXCL6), chemokine (C–C motif) ligand 5 (CCL5), chemokine (C–X3–C motif) ligand 1 (CX3CL1) and CXCL2) and cell surface receptors (interferon γ receptor 1 (IFNGR1), intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), intercellular adhesion molecule-2 (ICAM-2) and IL-10 receptor α (IL10RA)). The present study suggests that milk oligosaccharides contribute to the development and maturation of the intestinal immune response and that bovine milk may be an attractive commercially viable source of oligosaccharides for such applications.
Brewers’ spent grain (BSG) is a low-value co-product of the brewing industry produced in large quantities annually. This paper reviews the existing evidence regarding the phenolic component of BSG, focusing on composition, extraction and biofunctions such as antioxidant, anti-atherogenic, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic activities. Furthermore, the incorporation of BSG in foodstuffs will be discussed, including the use of BSG as an animal feed supplement and the potential of BSG to be incorporated into foods for human consumption. BSG contains hydroxycinnamic acids including ferulic acid, p-coumaric acid and caffeic acid; which have shown bioactivity in the pure form (antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-atherogenic and anti-cancer). Phenolic extracts from BSG have also shown antioxidant potential, by protecting against oxidant-induced DNA damage, possibly by Fe chelation. Studies show that BSG has many benefits when used as a supplement in animal feed, such as increasing milk yield, milkfat content and in providing essential dietary amino acids. The incorporation of BSG in human foods such as cookies and ready-to-eat snacks has resulted in increased protein and fibre contents of the products, where the changes in organoleptic properties are controllable. It can be concluded that the phenolic component of BSG has potential bioactive effects, which are worth pursuing given that the inclusion of BSG into human foodstuffs is viable and beneficial.
To examine the prospective association of television (TV) watching from adolescence to young adulthood with BMI, waist circumference (WC), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) and obesity.
A community-based longitudinal cohort study.
Mater–University of Queensland Study of Pregnancy (MUSP) Cohort, Brisbane, Australia.
A sub-sample of 2439 children was followed up at ages 14 years and 21 years as part of a population-based birth cohort. Offspring reported the number of TV viewing hours each day at 14 and 21 years. BMI, WC and WHR were measured at 21 years.
In the adjusted model, offspring who watched TV for <3 h/d at 14 years but for ≥3 h/d at 21 years, or who watched TV for ≥3 h/d at 14 and 21 years, had greater BMI, WC and WHR at 21 years. Offspring who watched TV for ≥3 h/d at 14 years but for <3 h/d at 21 years had similar mean BMI, WC and WHR at 21 years to those who watched TV for <3 h/d at 14 and 21 years. Those offspring who reduced their TV watching hours to <3 h/d during the transition from adolescence into young adulthood were at less risk of becoming obese and those who continued or increased their TV watching to ≥3 h/d were at greater risk of becoming obese. This association remained independent of the potential confounding factors considered.
The present findings suggest that our efforts to decrease obesity by reducing TV watching hours among adults should consider interventions to reduce TV time among adolescents.