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Deaths due to opioid overdose have reached unprecedented levels in Canada; over 12,800 opioid-related deaths occurred between January 2016 and March 2019, and overdose death rates increased by approximately 50% from 2016 to 2018.1 In 2016, Health Canada declared the opioid epidemic a national public health crisis,2 and life expectancy increases have halted in Canada for the first time in decades.3 Children are not exempt from this crisis, and the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada has recently prioritized the prevention of problematic substance use among Canadian youth.4
Introduction: Biliary colic is a frequent cause for emergency department visits. Ultrasound is the initial test of choice for gallstone disease. We evaluated the effectiveness of a brief online educational module aimed to improve Emergency Physicians’ (EP) and General Surgeons’ (GS) accuracy in interpreting gallbladder ultrasound. Methods: EPs and GSs (resident/fellow and attending) from a single academic tertiary care hospital were invited to participate in a pre- and post- assessment of the interpretation of gallbladder ultrasound. Demographic information was obtained in a standardized survey. All questions developed for the pre- and post- assessment were reviewed for content and clarity by 3 EP and GS experts. Participants were asked 22 multiple-choice questions and then directed to a 7-minute video-tutorial on gallbladder ultrasound interpretation. After a 3-week period, participants then completed a post-intervention assessment. Following pre- and post- assessment, participants were surveyed on their confidence in gallbladder ultrasound interpretation. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and paired t-test. Results: The overall response rate of the pre-intervention was 50.9% (116/228) and 40.8% (93/228) for the post-intervention. In pre-intervention assessment, 27.7% of participants reported they were “not at all confident” in interpreting gallbladder ultrasound. This contrasted with post-intervention confidence level, where only minority (7.8%) reported “not at all confident”. There was a significant increase from the pre- to post- intervention (75.7% to 85.4%; p < 0.01) in correct interpretations. The greatest improvement was seen in those with previous experience interpreting gallbladder ultrasound (from 79.6% to 91.1%; p < 0.01). EPs scored significantly higher than GSs in the pre-intervention (EPs 78.2% compared to GSs 71.0%; p < 0.01). This trend was also observed in post-intervention, although the difference was no longer significant (EPs 88.9% compared to GSs 82.8%; p = 0.05). There was no significant difference in performance between residents/fellows compared to attendings. Conclusion: This brief, online intervention improved the accuracy of EPs’ and GSs’ interpretation of gallbladder ultrasound. This is an easily accessible tutorial that can be used as part of a comprehensive ultrasound educational program. Further studies are required to determine if EPs’ and GSs’ interpretations of gallbladder ultrasound impacts patient-oriented outcomes.
Illicit drug use in India is quite serious and Kashmir is also one of the hardest hit places and the scenario is worsened by the prevailing turmoil. The present study was conducted to find the epidemiological profile of substance abusers visiting De-addiction Centres in Srinagar Kashmir India.
To study the socio-demographic profile of substance use disorder patients seeking treatment and to identify the reasons for starting the use of substance.
Materials and methods
The present cross sectional study, was conducted at two Drug De-addiction and treatment Centers in Srinagar. Total of 125 Substance Use Disorder Patients were interviewed by using pretested semi-structured proforma, emphasizing on socio-demographic profile and reasons for starting use of substance.
Majority (50.4%) of patients belonged to young and productive age group. Most of the patients started taking substances in the age group of 10-19 years and more so in case of nicotine (76.8%), volatile substances (76.9%) and cannabis (70.5%). Besides nicotine (89.6%), the most common substances used were cannabis (48.8%), codeine (48%), propoxyphene (37.6%), alcohol (36.8%) and benzodiazepines (36%). Peer pressure was the most common (72.8%) reason for starting the use of substance.
Whether the society views substance misuse primarily as a moral or legal problem; when it creates difficulties for the user, it becomes concern of all people including parents, teachers, doctors, sociologists and psychologists. An integrated approach of early detection, treatment and rehabilitation is essential for preventing and minimizing the long term negative consequences of substance abuse.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) has a long history in treating depression and its benefits are well known. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has been introduced more recently to the treatment spectrum.
To test the equivalence of rTMS with ECT, and compare the neurocognitive side effects of both treatment modalities.
This is a randomized comparative study, forty patients with major depressive disorder referred for ECT were randomly assigned to either a 20 session course of r TMS to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex or a standard course of ECT. The primary outcome measure was the score on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale HAM-D. Secondary outcome measures were cognitive battery that assessed different aspects of cognitive functions and a subjective mood visual analogue scale. The cognitive battery comprised the Rey-Osterrieth complex figure test, the Trail making test A and B, the Digit span subtest from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale.
ECT was more effective than rTMS in the short-term treatment of major depressive disorder as evident by HAM-D scores. rTMS was well tolerated with less impact on the cognitive functions compared to ECT. Level of improvement by ECT was correlated with older age, and severe baseline HAM-D symptoms, while the level of improvement by rTMS was correlated with more memory affection at the end of treatment.
ECT was more effective than rTMS in the short-term treatment of major depressive disorder regarding the overall mood symptoms. rTMS was well tolerated with less impact on the cognitive functions.
In the present study, an effective secondary selection of transgressive variants from a homozygous population of Pusa Sugandh 3 (PS3) has led to the development of basmati variant SKUA 494. SKUA 494 exhibited a grain yield (7.9 t/ha) with superiority of 21.5% over its progenitor (6.5 t/ha). Besides, the genotype revealed an earliness of about 13 and 15 days for flowering and maturity, respectively. Hulling, milling and head rice recovery traits of SKUA 494 were comparatively better over the controls PS3 and Pusa Basmati 1509. No significant differences in the cooking quality were observed in SKUA 494 over its parental line. Quality traits of SKUA 494 revealed an intermediate score for alkali spreading value, besides similar values for gel consistency and amylose content in comparison to PS3. On the basis of stability variables, stability index and overall mean for most of the traits, SKUA 494 depicted stable performance across the locations and over the years. Molecular analysis based on simple sequence repeat markers revealed polymorphism at locus flanking the quantitative trait loci for days to heading (Hd6) between SKUA 494 and its parent (PS3). Based on overall superiority in the performance and adaptability of SKUA 494, the variety has been recommended to farmers for general cultivation under temperate ecology.
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) are essential amino acids that are necessary for muscle mass maintenance. Little is known about the plasma concentrations of BCAA and the protein intake in relation to sarcopenia. We aimed to compare the non-fasting plasma concentrations of the BCAA and the dietary protein intake between sarcopenic and non-sarcopenic older adults. Norwegian older home-dwelling adults (≥70 years) were invited to a cross-sectional study with no other exclusion criteria than age. Sarcopenic subjects were defined by the diagnostic criteria by the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People. Non-fasting plasma concentrations of eight amino acids were quantified using NMR spectroscopy. Protein intake was assessed using 2×24-h dietary recalls. In this study, ninety out of 417 subjects (22 %) were sarcopenic, and more women (32 %) than men (11 %) were sarcopenic (P<0·0001). Sex-adjusted non-fasting plasma concentrations of leucine and isoleucine, and the absolute intake of protein (g/d), were significantly lower among the sarcopenic subjects, when compared with non-sarcopenic subjects (P=0·003, P=0·026 and P=0·003, respectively). A similar protein intake was observed in the two groups when adjusted for body weight (BW) and sex (1·1 g protein/kg BW per d; P=0·50). We show that sarcopenia is associated with reduced non-fasting plasma concentration of the BCAA leucine and isoleucine, and lower absolute intake of protein. More studies are needed to clarify the clinical relevance of these findings, related to maintenance of muscle mass and prevention of sarcopenia.
The error-related negativity (ERN) is a negative deflection in the event-related potential occurring when individuals make mistakes, and is increased in children with internalizing psychopathology. We recently found that harsh parenting predicts a larger ERN in children, and recent work has suggested that variation in the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene may moderate the impact of early life adversity. Parents and children completed measures of parenting when children were 3 years old (N = 201); 3 years later, the ERN was measured and diagnostic interviews as well as dimensional symptom measures were completed. We found that harsh parenting predicted an increased ERN only among children with a methionine allele of the BDNF genotype, and evidence of moderated mediation: the ERN mediated the relationship between parenting and internalizing diagnoses and dimensional symptoms only if children had a methionine allele. We tested this model with externalizing disorders, and found that harsh parenting predicted externalizing outcomes, but the ERN did not mediate this association. These findings suggest that harsh parenting predicts both externalizing and internalizing outcomes in children; however, this occurs through different pathways that uniquely implicate error-related brain activity in the development of internalizing disorders.
The successful and widely used two-step process of producing the hybrid organic-inorganic perovskite CH3NH3PbI3, consists of converting a solution deposited PbI2 film by reacting it with CH3NH3I. Here, we investigate the solidification of PbI2 films from a DMF solution by performing in situ grazing incidence wide angle X-ray scattering (GIWAXS) measurements. The measurements reveal an elaborate sol–gel process involving three PbI2⋅DMF solvate complexes—including disordered and ordered ones—prior to PbI2 formation. The ordered solvates appear to be metastable as they transform into the PbI2 phase in air within minutes without annealing. Morphological analysis of air-dried and annealed films reveals that the air-dried PbI2 is substantially more porous when the coating process produces one of the intermediate solvates, making this more suitable for subsequent conversion into the perovskite phase. The observation of metastable solvates on the pathway to PbI2 formation open up new opportunities for influencing the two-step conversion of metal halides into efficient light harvesting or emitting perovskite semiconductors.
The aim of this study was to investigate the socioeconomic and demographic factors influencing the body mass index (BMI) of non-pregnant married Bangladeshi women of reproductive age. Secondary (Hierarchy) data from the 2011 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey, collected using two-stage stratified cluster sampling, were used. Two-level linear regression analysis was performed to remove the cluster effect of the variables. The mean BMI of married non-pregnant Bangladeshi women was 21.60±3.86 kg/m2, and the prevalence of underweight, overweight and obesity was 22.8%, 14.9% and 3.2%, respectively. After removing the cluster effect, age and age at first marriage were found to be positively (p<0.01) related with BMI. Number of children was negatively related with women’s BMI. Lower BMI was especially found among women from rural areas and poor families, with an uneducated husband, with no television at home and who were currently breast-feeding. Age, total children ever born, age at first marriage, type of residence, education level, level of husband’s education, wealth index, having a television at home and practising breast-feeding were found to be important predictors for the BMI of married Bangladeshi non-pregnant women of reproductive age. This information could be used to identify sections of the Bangladeshi population that require special attention, and to develop more effective strategies to resolve the problem of malnutrition.
Persistently elevated behavioral inhibition (BI) in children is a marker of vulnerability to psychopathology. However, little research has considered the joint influences of caregiver and child factors that may moderate the continuity of BI in early childhood, particularly genetic variants that may serve as markers of biological plasticity, such as the serotonin transporter linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR). We explored this issue in 371 preschoolers and their caregivers, examining whether parent characteristics (i.e., overinvolvement or anxiety disorder) and child 5-HTTLPR influenced the continuity of BI between ages 3 and 5. Measures were observational ratings of child BI, observational and questionnaire measures of parenting, and parent interviews for anxiety disorder history, and children were genotyped for the 5-HTTLPR. Parent factors did not moderate the association between age 3 and age 5 BI; however, child BI at age 3 interacted with children's 5-HTTLPR variants to predict age 5 BI, such that children with at least one copy of the short allele exhibited less continuity of BI over time relative to children without this putative plasticity variant. Findings are consistent with previous work indicating the 5-HTTLPR short variant increases plasticity to contextual influences, thereby serving to decrease the continuity of BI in early childhood.
The healthy Nordic diet has been previously shown to have health beneficial effects among subjects at risk of CVD. However, the extent of food changes needed to achieve these effects is less explored. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of exchanging a few commercially available, regularly consumed key food items (e.g. spread on bread, fat for cooking, cheese, bread and cereals) with improved fat quality on total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and inflammatory markers in a double-blind randomised, controlled trial. In total, 115 moderately hypercholesterolaemic, non-statin-treated adults (25–70 years) were randomly assigned to an experimental diet group (Ex-diet group) or control diet group (C-diet group) for 8 weeks with commercially available food items with different fatty acid composition (replacing SFA with mostly n-6 PUFA). In the Ex-diet group, serum total cholesterol (P<0·001) and LDL-cholesterol (P<0·001) were reduced after 8 weeks, compared with the C-diet group. The difference in change between the two groups at the end of the study was −9 and −11 % in total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol, respectively. No difference in change in plasma levels of inflammatory markers (high-sensitive C-reactive protein, IL-6, soluble TNF receptor 1 and interferon-γ) was observed between the groups. In conclusion, exchanging a few regularly consumed food items with improved fat quality reduces total cholesterol, with no negative effect on levels of inflammatory markers. This shows that an exchange of a few commercially available food items was easy and manageable and led to clinically relevant cholesterol reduction, potentially affecting future CVD risk.
Immigrants and their children who return to their country of origin to visit friends and relatives (VFR) are at increased risk of acquiring infectious diseases compared to other travellers. VFR travel is an important disease control issue, as one quarter of Australia's population are foreign-born and one quarter of departing Australian international travellers are visiting friends and relatives. We conducted a 1-year prospective enhanced surveillance study in New South Wales and Victoria, Australia to determine the contribution of VFR travel to notifiable diseases associated with travel, including typhoid, paratyphoid, measles, hepatitis A, hepatitis E, malaria and chikungunya. Additional data on characteristics of international travel were collected. Recent international travel was reported by 180/222 (81%) enhanced surveillance cases, including all malaria, chikungunya and paratyphoid cases. The majority of cases who acquired infections during travel were immigrant Australians (96, 53%) or their Australian-born children (43, 24%). VFR travel was reported by 117 (65%) travel-associated cases, highest for typhoid (31/32, 97%). Cases of children (aged <18 years) (86%) were more frequently VFR travellers compared to adult travellers (57%, P < 0·001). VFR travel is an important contributor to imported disease in Australia. Communicable disease control strategies targeting these travellers, such as targeted health promotion, are likely to impact importation of these travel-related infections.
In recent years, the government of Bangladesh has encouraged private sector involvement in producing mid-level health cadres including Medical Assistants (MAs). The number of MAs produced has increased significantly. We assessed students’ characteristics, educational services, competencies and perceived attitudes towards health service delivery in rural areas.
We used a mixed method approach using quantitative (questionnaire survey) and qualitative (key informant interviews and roundtable discussion) methods. Altogether, five public schools with 238 students and 30 private schools with 732 students were included. Statistical analyses were performed using STATA v-12. Qualitative data were analyzed thematically.
The majority of the students in both public (66%) and private medical assistant training schools (MATS) (61%) were from rural backgrounds. They spent the majority of their time in classroom learning (public 45% versus private 42%) and the written essay exam was the common form of a students’ performance assessment. Compared with students of public MATS, students of private MATS were more confident in different aspects of educational areas, including managing emerging health needs (P<0.001); evidence-based practice (P=0.002); critical thinking and problem solving (P=0.02), and use of IT/computer skills (P<0.001). Students were aware of not having adequate facilities in rural areas (public 71%, private 65%), but they perceived working in rural areas will offer several benefits, including use of learnt skills; friendly rural people; and opportunities for real-life problem solving, etc.
This study provides a current picture of MATS students’ characteristics, educational services, competencies and perception towards working in rural areas. The MA students in both private and public sectors showed a greater level of willingness to serve in rural health facilities. The results are promising to improve health service delivery, particularly in rural and hard-to-reach areas of Bangladesh.
This paper, a report by the Clinical Governance and Audit Committee of the Scottish Otolaryngological Society, presents a consensus view of the minimal requirements for ENT clinics in National Health Service hospitals.
Results and conclusion:
The provision of adequate equipment and staff has gained increasing importance as the vast majority of ENT procedures can be safely performed in the out-patient or office setting.
Risk for depression is expressed across multiple levels of analysis. For example, parental depression and cognitive vulnerability are known markers of depression risk, but no study has examined their interactive effects on children's cortisol reactivity, a likely mediator of early depression risk. We examined relations across these different levels of vulnerability using cross-sectional and longitudinal methods in two community samples of children. Children were assessed for cognitive vulnerability using self-reports (Study 1; n = 244) and tasks tapping memory and attentional bias (Study 2; n = 205), and their parents were assessed for depression history using structured clinical interviews. In both samples, children participated in standardized stress tasks and cortisol reactivity was assessed. Cross-sectionally and longitudinally, parental depression history and child cognitive vulnerability interacted to predict children's cortisol reactivity; associations between parent depression and elevated child cortisol activity were found when children also showed elevated depressotypic attributions as well as attentional and memory biases. Findings indicate that models of children's emerging depression risk may benefit from the examination of the interactive effects of multiple sources of vulnerability across levels of analysis.
The study of bilingualism has generated great interest about a core issue: does the experience of using two or more languages lead to enduring changes in the bilingual brain. This issue is often framed as a search for bilingual advantages in cognition, most notably behavioral performance on executive control tasks. Valian's timely keynote (2014) adopts this framing.
Preliminary work indicates that cognitive vulnerability to depression may be associated with variants of the serotonin transporter promoter polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) and the valine to methionine at position 66 (val66met) polymorphism of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene; however, existing reports come from small samples. The present study sought to replicate and extend this research in a sample of 375 community-dwelling children and their parents. Following a negative mood induction, children completed a self-referent encoding task tapping memory for positive and negative self-descriptive traits. Consistent with previous work, we found that children with at least one short variant of the 5-HTTLPR had enhanced memory for negative self-descriptive traits. The BDNF val66met polymorphism had no main effect but was moderated by maternal depression, such that children with a BDNF methionine allele had a heightened memory for negative self-descriptive traits when mothers had experienced depression during children's lifetimes; in contrast, children with a methionine allele had low recall of negative traits when mothers had no depression history. The findings provide further support for the notion that the 5-HTTLPR is associated with cognitive markers of depression vulnerability and that the BDNF methionine allele moderates children's sensitivity to contextual factors.
The head and neck region harbours crucial structures and hence the surgical technique used to remove schwannomas from this region should cause minimal damage to these structures, with complete removal of pathology.
This study entailed a retrospective analysis of 10 patients with head and neck schwannomas that were excised using a nerve-sparing subcapsular dissection technique. The primary aims were to assess the functional impact of the surgical technique on the structure of origin and to evaluate local control.
One patient with parapharyngeal schwannoma developed symptoms suggestive of ‘first bite syndrome’ in the late post-operative period. Another patient with facial nerve schwannoma had House–Brackmann grade II weakness in the immediate post-operative period, which subsequently resolved. None of the patients developed recurrence during a median follow-up period of two years.
The nerve-sparing subcapsular dissection technique provided effective local control of tumour pathology, with relative preservation of neural function post-operatively.