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Integration of depression treatment into primary care could improve patient outcomes in low-resource settings. Losses along the depression care cascade limit integrated service effectiveness. This study identified patient-level factors that predicted detection of depressive symptoms by nurses, referral for depression treatment, and uptake of counseling, as part of integrated care in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
This was an analysis of baseline data from a prospective cohort. Participants were adult patients with at least moderate depressive symptoms at primary care facilities in Amajuba, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Participants were screened for depressive symptoms prior to routine assessment by a nurse. Generalized linear mixed-effects models were used to estimate associations between patient characteristics and service delivery outcomes.
Data from 412 participants were analyzed. Nurses successfully detected depressive symptoms in 208 [50.5%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 38.9–62.0] participants; of these, they referred 76 (36.5%, 95% CI 20.3–56.5) for depression treatment; of these, 18 (23.7%, 95% CI 10.7–44.6) attended at least one session of depression counseling. Depressive symptom severity, alcohol use severity, and perceived stress were associated with detection. Similar factors did not drive referral or counseling uptake.
Nurses detected patients with depressive symptoms at rates comparable to primary care providers in high-resource settings, though gaps in referral and uptake persist. Nurses were more likely to detect symptoms among patients in more severe mental distress. Implementation strategies for integrated mental health care in low-resource settings should target improved rates of detection, referral, and uptake.
The C677T polymorphism in the folate metabolising enzyme methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is associated with hypertension. Riboflavin acts as a cofactor for MTHFR in one-carbon metabolism which generates methyl groups for utilisation in important biological reactions such as DNA methylation. Supplementation with riboflavin has previously been shown to lower blood pressure in individuals with the MTHFR 677TT genotype. The mechanism regulating this gene-nutrient interaction is currently unknown but may involve aberrant DNA methylation which has been implicated hypertension.
The aims of this study were to examine DNA methylation of hypertension-related genes in adults stratified by MTHFR C677T genotype and the effect of riboflavin supplementation on DNA methylation of these genes in individuals with the MTHFR 677TT genotype.
Materials and Methods:
We measured DNA methylation using pyrosequencing in a set of candidate genes associated with hypertension including angiotensin II receptor type 1 (AGTR1), G nucleotide binding protein subunit alpha 12 (GNA12), insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) and nitric oxide synthase 3 (NOS3). Stored peripheral blood leukocyte samples from participants previously screened for the MTHFR C677T genotype who participated in targeted randomised controlled trials (1.6mg/d riboflavin or placebo for 16 weeks) at Ulster University were accessed for this analysis (n = 120).
There were significant differences in baseline average methylation between MTHFR CC and TT genotypes at NOS3 (p = 0.026) and AGTR1 (p = 0.045) loci. Riboflavin supplementation in the TT genotype group resulted in altered average methylation at IGF2 (p = 0.025) and CpG site-specific alterations at the AGTR1 and GNA12 loci.
DNA methylation at genes related to hypertension were significantly different in individuals stratified by MTHFR genotype group. Furthermore, in MTHFR 677TT genotype individuals, there were concurrent alterations in DNA methylation at genes linked to hypertension in response to riboflavin supplementation. This is the largest study to date to demonstrate an interaction between DNA methylation of hypertension-related genes and riboflavin supplementation in adults with the MTHFR 677TT genotype. Further work using a genome-wide approach is required to better understand the role of riboflavin in altering DNA methylation in these genetically at-risk individuals.
Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA), the cryogenic infrared space telescope recently pre-selected for a ‘Phase A’ concept study as one of the three remaining candidates for European Space Agency (ESA's) fifth medium class (M5) mission, is foreseen to include a far-infrared polarimetric imager [SPICA-POL, now called B-fields with BOlometers and Polarizers (B-BOP)], which would offer a unique opportunity to resolve major issues in our understanding of the nearby, cold magnetised Universe. This paper presents an overview of the main science drivers for B-BOP, including high dynamic range polarimetric imaging of the cold interstellar medium (ISM) in both our Milky Way and nearby galaxies. Thanks to a cooled telescope, B-BOP will deliver wide-field 100–350
m images of linearly polarised dust emission in Stokes Q and U with a resolution, signal-to-noise ratio, and both intensity and spatial dynamic ranges comparable to those achieved by Herschel images of the cold ISM in total intensity (Stokes I). The B-BOP 200
m images will also have a factor
30 higher resolution than Planck polarisation data. This will make B-BOP a unique tool for characterising the statistical properties of the magnetised ISM and probing the role of magnetic fields in the formation and evolution of the interstellar web of dusty molecular filaments giving birth to most stars in our Galaxy. B-BOP will also be a powerful instrument for studying the magnetism of nearby galaxies and testing Galactic dynamo models, constraining the physics of dust grain alignment, informing the problem of the interaction of cosmic rays with molecular clouds, tracing magnetic fields in the inner layers of protoplanetary disks, and monitoring accretion bursts in embedded protostars.
Declining mortality following invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) has been observed concurrent with a reduced incidence due to effective pneumococcal conjugate vaccines. However, with IPD now increasing due to serotype replacement, we undertook a statistical analysis to estimate the trend in all-cause 30-day case fatality rate (CFR) in the North East of England (NEE) following IPD. Clinical, microbiological and demographic data were obtained for all laboratory-confirmed IPD cases (April 2006–March 2016) and the adjusted association between CFR and epidemiological year estimated using logistic regression. Of the 2510 episodes of IPD included in the analysis, 486 died within 30 days of IPD (CFR 19%). Increasing age, male sex, a diagnosis of septicaemia, being in ⩾1 clinical risk groups, alcohol abuse and individual serotypes were independently associated with increased CFR. A significant decline in CFR over time was observed following adjustment for these significant predictors (adjusted odds ratio 0.93, 95% confidence interval 0.89–0.98; P = 0.003). A small but significant decline in 30-day all-cause CFR following IPD has been observed in the NEE. Nonetheless, certain population groups remain at increased risk of dying following IPD. Despite the introduction of effective vaccines, further strategies to reduce the ongoing burden of mortality from IPD are needed.
Previous research has shown relatively diminished medial prefrontal cortex activation and heightened psychophysiological responses during the recollection of personal events in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but the origin of these abnormalities is unknown. Twin studies provide the opportunity to determine whether such abnormalities reflect familial vulnerabilities, result from trauma exposure, or are acquired characteristics of PTSD.
In this case–control twin study, 26 male identical twin pairs (12 PTSD; 14 non-PTSD) discordant for PTSD and combat exposure recalled and imagined trauma-unrelated stressful and neutral life events using a standard script-driven imagery paradigm during functional magnetic resonance imaging and concurrent skin conductance measurement.
Diminished activation in the medial prefrontal cortex during Stressful v. Neutral script-driven imagery was observed in the individuals with PTSD, relative to other groups.
Diminished medial prefrontal cortex activation during Stressful v. Neutral script-driven imagery may be an acquired characteristic of PTSD. If replicated, this finding could be used prospectively to inform diagnosis and the assessment of treatment response.
Tun Mustapha Park, in Sabah, Malaysia, was gazetted in May 2016 and is the first multiple-use park in Malaysia where conservation, sustainable resource use and development co-occur within one management framework. We applied a systematic conservation planning tool, Marxan with Zones, and stakeholder consultation to design and revise the draft zoning plan. This process was facilitated by Sabah Parks, a government agency, and WWF-Malaysia, under the guidance of the Tun Mustapha Park steering committee and with support from the University of Queensland. Four conservation and fishing zones, including no-take areas, were developed, each with representation and replication targets for key marine habitats, and a range of socio-economic and community objectives. Here we report on how decision-support tools informed the reserve design process in three planning stages: prioritization, government review, and community consultation. Using marine habitat and species representation as a reporting metric, we describe how the zoning plan changed at each stage of the design process. We found that the changes made to the zoning plan by the government and stakeholders resulted in plans that compromised the achievement of conservation targets because no-take areas were moved away from villages and the coastline, where unique habitats are located. The design process highlights a number of lessons learned for future conservation zoning, which we believe will be useful as many other places embark on similar zoning processes on land and in the sea.
We present low-frequency spectral energy distributions of 60 known radio pulsars observed with the Murchison Widefield Array telescope. We searched the GaLactic and Extragalactic All-sky Murchison Widefield Array survey images for 200-MHz continuum radio emission at the position of all pulsars in the Australia Telescope National Facility (ATNF) pulsar catalogue. For the 60 confirmed detections, we have measured flux densities in 20 × 8 MHz bands between 72 and 231 MHz. We compare our results to existing measurements and show that the Murchison Widefield Array flux densities are in good agreement.
Begonia albomaculata as circumscribed in the Flora of Ecuador and related publications is shown to be a misapplied name and represents an undescribed species. This is described as Begonia botryoides Moonlight & Tebbitt sp. nov., and is recorded from the Pichincha, Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas, Napo, Cotopaxi, Azuay and El Oro provinces in Ecuador, and the Antioquia and Chocó departments of Colombia. The taxonomic study of this species prompted a re-evaluation of related species. It was subsequently found that the Central American material previously included in Begonia tiliifolia C.DC. is distinct from the type and other South American material of this species and represents an undescribed species. This is described as Begonia boreoharlingii Tebbitt & Moonlight sp. nov., and is recorded from the Limón province in Costa Rica, and the Bocas del Toro and Coclé provinces in Panama. Four species, Begonia tiliifolia C.DC., Begonia harlingii L.B.Sm. & Wassh., B. botryoides and B. boreoharlingii, are placed in the informally named Begonia tiliifolia group. A key, descriptions, illustrations and distribution maps are provided for the members of the Begonia tiliifolia group, and its sectional classification is discussed.
We have assembled a new sample of some of the most FIR-luminous galaxies in the Universe and have imaged them in 1.1 mm dust emission and measured their redshifts 1 < z < 4 via CO emission lines using the 32-m Large Millimeter Telescope / Gran Telescopio Milimétrico (LMT/GTM). Our sample of 31 submm galaxies (SMGs), culled from the Planck and Herschel all-sky surveys, includes 14 of the 21 most luminous galaxies known, with LFIR > 1014L⊙ and SFR > 104M⊙/yr. These extreme inferred luminosities – and multiple / extended 1.1 mm images – imply that most or all are strongly gravitationally lensed, with typical magnification μ ~ 10 × . The gravitational lensing provides two significant benefits: (1) it boosts the S/N, and (2) it allows investigation of star formation and gas processes on sub-kpc scales.
The increase in pertussis cases in Minnesota in the last decade has been mainly attributed to the switch from whole cell to acellular pertussis [as part of the diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP)]. It is unclear, however, to what degree community-level risk factors also contribute. Understanding these factors can help inform public health policy-makers about where else to target resources. We performed an ecological analysis within Minnesota to identify risk factors at the county level using a Bayesian Poisson generalized linear areal model to account for spatial dependence. Univariate analyses suggested an association between increased pertussis rates at the county level and white maternal ethnicity, being US born, urban counties and average household size. In the multivariable analysis, the rate of pertussis was 1·79 times greater for urban vs. rural counties and 4·75 times greater for counties with a one-person larger average household size. Pertussis rates in counties with higher (i.e. 4+DTaP) receipt in children were 0·97 times lower. Examining county-level factors associated with varying levels of pertussis may help identify those counties that would most benefit from targeted interventions and increased resource allocation.
We have mapped cold atomic gas in 21cm line H i self-absorption (HISA) at arcminute resolution over more than 90% of the Milky Way's disk. To probe the formation of H2 clouds, we have compared our HISA distribution with CO J = 1-0 line emission. Few HISA features in the outer Galaxy have CO at the same position and velocity, while most inner-Galaxy HISA has overlapping CO. But many apparent inner-Galaxy HISA-CO associations can be explained as chance superpositions, so most inner-Galaxy HISA may also be CO-free. Since standard equilibrium cloud models cannot explain the very cold H i in many HISA features without molecules being present, these clouds may instead have significant CO-dark H2.
We examine the roles of actuaries in UK life offices, along with trends, challenges to and opportunities for actuaries. We carry out an analysis of senior roles in life offices, a questionnaire survey and interviews with relevant senior personnel. We find that actuaries occupy many important roles in life offices and are regarded as having good industry knowledge and technical skills, especially in financial modelling. There are fewer executive directors and more non-executive directors of life offices who are actuaries compared with the position in 1990. A higher proportion of reserved roles is outsourced to consultants than was the case in 1990. Only a small number of Actuarial Function Holders are directors. Actuaries are more siloed than was the case in the past, although actuaries are well represented in the finance and risk functions of many offices. Although actuarial work in connection with the preparation for Solvency II will decline, there will be important ongoing requirements for actuaries following Solvency II implementation. We also see opportunities for actuaries in four areas: in risk management, in financial analysis and management based on Solvency II and international financial reporting standards, in connection with “big data”, and in product development and the customer proposition. There are implications for the examination syllabus, continuing professional development and research.
Delays in head and neck cancer treatment lead to increased mortality, more extensive treatment and patient anxiety. We aim to treat all patients with cancer within 62 days of receipt of a referral. An analysis was conducted of those patients whose treatment had been delayed in order to identify factors associated with treatment delay.
In this retrospective case–control study, 50 patients whose treatment was delayed were identified and compared with 50 patients whose treatment was not delayed. Individual factors assessed included patient age, co-morbidity, tumour location and stage, the treatment agreed, the hospitals to which the patients were referred, and the clinicians they saw.
There was a significant association between referral to a non-head and neck cancer centre, or review by a non-head and neck multidisciplinary team member, and treatment delay.
In the context of centralisation of head and neck cancer services, it is important to consider delays that may be associated with a ‘hub and spoke’ model of service provision.
Viral gene therapy is a promising new treatment modality for head and neck cancer. This paper provides the reader with a review of the relevant literature in this field.
There are government licensed viral gene therapy products currently in use for head and neck cancer, utilised in conjunction with established treatment modalities. The viruses target tumour-associated genes, with the first licensed virus replacing p53 gene function, which is frequently lost in tumourigenesis. Oncolytic viruses selectively destroy cancer cells through viral replication and can be armed with therapeutic transgenes.
Despite considerable advances in this field over the last 40 years, further research is needed to improve the overall efficacy of the viruses and allow their widespread utilisation in the management of head and neck cancer.
Two broad aims drive weed science research: improved management and improved
understanding of weed biology and ecology. In recent years, agricultural
weed research addressing these two aims has effectively split into separate
subdisciplines despite repeated calls for greater integration. Although some
excellent work is being done, agricultural weed research has developed a
very high level of repetitiveness, a preponderance of purely descriptive
studies, and has failed to clearly articulate novel hypotheses linked to
established bodies of ecological and evolutionary theory. In contrast,
invasive plant research attracts a diverse cadre of nonweed scientists using
invasions to explore broader and more integrated biological questions
grounded in theory. We propose that although studies focused on weed
management remain vitally important, agricultural weed research would
benefit from deeper theoretical justification, a broader vision, and
increased collaboration across diverse disciplines. To initiate change in
this direction, we call for more emphasis on interdisciplinary training for
weed scientists, and for focused workshops and working groups to develop
specific areas of research and promote interactions among weed scientists
and with the wider scientific community.