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Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
With the widespread of atypical antipsychotics used among children and adolescents, the treatment effectiveness has been of great interest alongside with the efficacy and safety in this population. The study was designed to assess whether second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) are associated with lower service costs in the real world. Factors associated with service costs were also examined.
The claim data (PIMC) of 1996-2008 from the National Insurance Plan of Taiwan was used. Patients aged less than 20 with an incident use of antipsychotics and last for 12 months during this period were included for analysis. Comparisons were made between 8 SGAs and 2 first-generation antipsychotics (FGAs). Changes in service costs were examined with 95% confidence interval. Multivariate regressions with propensity scores adjustment were performed to explore factors associated with psychiatric service costs.
A total of 343 treatment encounters were included and results showed no difference in psychiatric services costs in the SGAs group as the total service costs were offset to high antipsychotics costs of SGAs, though antiparkinsonian costs were not different between two groups. Factor positively associated with service costs were relapse (RR=4.0, p< 0.0001) and EPS incidence (RR=1.6, p< 0.008), while types of antipsychotics and diagnoses were not significant factors after adjusting for covariates.
Service costs were not different between FGAs and SGAs groups and medication costs were significantly higher in the SGAs group. Relapse and EPS incidence were factors of high costs among children and adolescents psychiatric patients treated with antipsychotics in Taiwan.
The Sort, Access, Life-saving interventions, Treatment and/or Triage (SALT) mass-casualty incident (MCI) algorithm is unique in that it includes two subjective questions during the triage process: “Is the victim likely to survive given the resources?” and “Is the injury minor?”
Given this subjectivity, it was hypothesized that as casualties increase, the inter-rater reliability (IRR) of the tool would decline, due to an increase in the number of patients triaged as Minor and Expectant.
A pre-collected dataset of pediatric trauma patients age <14 years from a single Level 1 trauma center was used to generate “patients.” Three trained raters triaged each patient using SALT as if they were in each of the following scenarios: 10, 100, and 1,000 victim MCIs. Cohen’s kappa test was used to evaluate IRR between the raters in each of the scenarios.
A total of 247 patients were available for triage. The kappas were consistently “poor” to “fair:” 0.37 to 0.59 in the 10-victim scenario; 0.13 to 0.36 in the 100-victim scenario; and 0.05 to 0.36 in the 1,000-victim scenario. There was an increasing percentage of subjects triaged Minor as the number of estimated victims increased: 27.8% increase from 10- to 100-victim scenario and 7.0% increase from 100- to 1,000-victim scenario. Expectant triage categorization of patients remained stable as victim numbers increased.
Overall, SALT demonstrated poor IRR in this study of increasing casualty counts while triaging pediatric patients. Increased casualty counts in the scenarios did lead to increased Minor but not Expectant categorizations.
Abnormal effort-based decision-making represents a potential mechanism underlying motivational deficits (amotivation) in psychotic disorders. Previous research identified effort allocation impairment in chronic schizophrenia and focused mostly on physical effort modality. No study has investigated cognitive effort allocation in first-episode psychosis (FEP).
Cognitive effort allocation was examined in 40 FEP patients and 44 demographically-matched healthy controls, using Cognitive Effort-Discounting (COGED) paradigm which quantified participants’ willingness to expend cognitive effort in terms of explicit, continuous discounting of monetary rewards based on parametrically-varied cognitive demands (levels N of N-back task). Relationship between reward-discounting and amotivation was investigated. Group differences in reward-magnitude and effort-cost sensitivity, and differential associations of these sensitivity indices with amotivation were explored.
Patients displayed significantly greater reward-discounting than controls. In particular, such discounting was most pronounced in patients with high levels of amotivation even when N-back performance and reward base amount were taken into consideration. Moreover, patients exhibited reduced reward-benefit sensitivity and effort-cost sensitivity relative to controls, and that decreased sensitivity to reward-benefit but not effort-cost was correlated with diminished motivation. Reward-discounting and sensitivity indices were generally unrelated to other symptom dimensions, antipsychotic dose and cognitive deficits.
This study provides the first evidence of cognitive effort-based decision-making impairment in FEP, and indicates that decreased effort expenditure is associated with amotivation. Our findings further suggest that abnormal effort allocation and amotivation might primarily be related to blunted reward valuation. Prospective research is required to clarify the utility of effort-based measures in predicting amotivation and functional outcome in FEP.
Better understanding of interplay among symptoms, cognition and functioning in first-episode psychosis (FEP) is crucial to promoting functional recovery. Network analysis is a promising data-driven approach to elucidating complex interactions among psychopathological variables in psychosis, but has not been applied in FEP.
This study employed network analysis to examine inter-relationships among a wide array of variables encompassing psychopathology, premorbid and onset characteristics, cognition, subjective quality-of-life and psychosocial functioning in 323 adult FEP patients in Hong Kong. Graphical Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO) combined with extended Bayesian information criterion (BIC) model selection was used for network construction. Importance of individual nodes in a generated network was quantified by centrality analyses.
Our results showed that amotivation played the most central role and had the strongest associations with other variables in the network, as indexed by node strength. Amotivation and diminished expression displayed differential relationships with other nodes, supporting the validity of two-factor negative symptom structure. Psychosocial functioning was most strongly connected with amotivation and was weakly linked to several other variables. Within cognitive domain, digit span demonstrated the highest centrality and was connected with most of the other cognitive variables. Exploratory analysis revealed no significant gender differences in network structure and global strength.
Our results suggest the pivotal role of amotivation in psychopathology network of FEP and indicate its critical association with psychosocial functioning. Further research is required to verify the clinical significance of diminished motivation on functional outcome in the early course of psychotic illness.
Nasal irrigation is commonly performed in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis after functional endoscopic sinus surgery. This study systematically assessed the clinical efficacy of nasal irrigation from the medical literature.
The PubMed, Embase and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials databases were searched using a comprehensive strategy, limited to English-language articles, published from October 1971 to March 2017, and comprising human subjects.
A total of 824 trials were identified, 5 of which, involving 331 participants, were included in this systematic review. After selection, only three trials were eligible for inclusion in a meta-analysis. Nasal irrigation using normal saline and various solutions was found to be effective in reducing symptom scores and endoscopic scores for chronic rhinosinusitis patients after functional endoscopic sinus surgery. Comparison of outcome measures, such as eosinophil count reduction, revealed that various solutions are more effective than normal saline alone; however, no statistical significance was found in terms of reduced symptom or endoscopic scores.
Based on the current limited evidence, nasal irrigation is an effective therapy for chronic rhinosinusitis patients after functional endoscopic sinus surgery. However, when comparing various solutions with normal saline, no significant difference was found in symptom scores or endoscopic scores.
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.
Knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of the population regarding severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) in endemic areas of Lu'an in China were assessed before and after an intervention programme. The pre-intervention phase was conducted using a sample of 425 participants from the 12 selected villages with the highest rates of endemic SFTS infection. A predesigned interview questionnaire was used to assess KAP. Subsequently, an intervention programme was designed and applied in the selected villages. KAP was re-assessed for each population in the selected villages using the same interview questionnaire. Following 2 months of the programme, 339 participants had completed the re-assessed survey. The impact of the intervention programme was evaluated using suitable statistical methods. A significant increase in the KAP and total KAP scores was noted following the intervention programme, whereas the proportion of correct knowledge, the positive attitudes and the effective practices toward SFTS of respondents increased significantly. The intervention programme was effective in improving KAP level of SFTS in populations that were resident in endemic areas.
A simple, portable capillary refill time (CRT) simulator is not commercially available. This device would be useful in mass-casualty simulations with multiple volunteers or mannequins depicting a variety of clinical findings and CRTs. The objective of this study was to develop and evaluate a prototype CRT simulator in a disaster simulation context.
A CRT prototype simulator was developed by embedding a pressure-sensitive piezo crystal, and a single red light-emitting diode (LED) light was embedded, within a flesh-toned resin. The LED light was programmed to turn white proportionate to the pressure applied, and gradually to return to red on release. The time to color return was adjustable with an external dial. The prototype was tested for feasibility among two cohorts: emergency medicine physicians in a tabletop exercise and second year medical students within an actual disaster triage drill. The realism of the simulator was compared to video-based CRT, and participants used a Visual Analog Scale (VAS) ranging from “completely artificial” to “as if on a real patient.” The VAS evaluated both the visual realism and the functional (eg, tactile) realism. Accuracy of CRT was evaluated only by the physician cohort. Data were analyzed using parametric and non-parametric statistics, and mean Cohen’s Kappas were used to describe inter-rater reliability.
The CRT simulator was generally well received by the participants. The simulator was perceived to have slightly higher functional realism (P=.06, P=.01) but lower visual realism (P=.002, P=.11) than the video-based CRT. Emergency medicine physicians had higher accuracy on portrayed CRT on the simulator than the videos (92.6% versus 71.1%; P<.001). Inter-rater reliability was higher for the simulator (0.78 versus 0.27; P<.001).
A simple, LED-based CRT simulator was well received in both settings. Prior to widespread use for disaster triage training, validation on participants’ ability to accurately triage disaster victims using CRT simulators and video-based CRT simulations should be performed.
ChangTP, SantillanesG, Claudius I, PhamPK, KovedJ, CheyneJ, Gausche-HillM, KajiAH, SrinivasanS, DonofrioJJ, BirC. Use of a Novel, Portable, LED-Based Capillary Refill Time Simulator within a Disaster Triage Context. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(4):451–456.
In many developed countries, cognitive functioning (as measured by neuropsychological tests) appears to be improving over time in the population at large, in parallel with the declining age-specific incidence of dementia. Here, we investigated cohort effects in the age-associated trajectories of verbal memory function in older adults. We sought to determine whether they varied by decade of birth and, if so, whether the change would be explained by increasing educational attainment.
Pooling data from two prospective US population-based studies between 1987 and 2015, we identified four birth cohorts born 1902–1911, 1912–1921, 1922–1931, and 1932–1943. Among these cohorts, we compared age-associated trajectories both of performance and of practice effects on immediate and delayed recall of a 10-item Word List. We used mixed effects models, first including birth cohorts and cohort X age interaction terms, and then controlling for education and education X age interaction.
We observed significant cohort effects in performance (baseline and age-associated trajectories) in both immediate recall and delayed recall, with function improving between the earliest- and latest-born cohorts. For both tests, we also observed cohort effects on practice effects with the highest levels in the latest-born cohorts. Including education in the models did not attenuate these effects.
In this longitudinal population study, across four decade-long birth cohorts, there were significant improvements in test performance and practice effects in verbal memory tests, not explained by education. Whether this reflects declining disease incidence or other secular trends awaits further investigation.
In linear system, in-plane motions are decoupled from out-of-plane motions for planar frame structures. A theoretical method is proposed that permits the efficient calculations of modal characteristics of planar multi-story frame structures. There are 3 × m beam components for a planar m-story frame structure. By analyzing the transverse and longitudinal motions of each component simultaneously and considering the compatibility requirements across each frame joint, the undetermined variables of the entire m-story frame structure system can be reduced to six, regardless of the number of stories, and that can be determined by the application of the boundary conditions. The main feature of this method is to decrease the dimensions of the matrix involved in the finite element methods and certain other analytical methods.
Relapse is distressingly common after the first episode of psychosis, yet it is poorly understood and difficult to predict. Investigating changes in cognitive function preceding relapse may provide new insights into the underlying mechanism of relapse in psychosis. We hypothesized that relapse in fully remitted first-episode psychosis patients was preceded by working memory deterioration.
Visual memory and verbal working memory were monitored prospectively in a 1-year randomized controlled trial of remitted first-episode psychosis patients assigned to medication continuation (quetiapine 400 mg/day) or discontinuation (placebo). Relapse (recurrence of positive symptoms of psychosis), visual (Visual Patterns Test) and verbal (Letter–Number span test) working memory and stressful life events were assessed monthly.
Remitted first-episode patients (n = 102) participated in the study. Relapsers (n = 53) and non-relapsers (n = 49) had similar baseline demographic and clinical profiles. Logistic regression analyses indicated relapse was associated with visual working memory deterioration 2 months before relapse [odds ratio (OR) 3.07, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.19–7.92, P = 0.02], more stressful life events 1 month before relapse (OR 2.11, 95% CI 1.20–3.72, P = 0.01) and medication discontinuation (OR 5.52, 95% CI 2.08–14.62, P = 0.001).
Visual working memory deterioration beginning 2 months before relapse in remitted first-episode psychosis patients (not baseline predictor) may reflect early brain dysfunction that heralds a psychotic relapse. The deterioration was found to be unrelated to a worsening of psychotic symptoms preceding relapse. Testable predictors offer insight into the brain processes underlying relapse in psychosis.
A nationwide population-based cohort was used to examine the severity of liver cirrhosis and risk of mortality from oral cancer.
The cohort consisted of 3583 patients with oral cancer treated by surgery between 2008 and 2011 in Taiwan. They were grouped on the basis of normal liver function (n = 3471), cirrhosis without decompensation (n = 72) and cirrhosis with decompensation (n = 40). The primary endpoint was mortality. Hazard ratios of death were also determined.
The mortality rates in the respective groups were 14.8 per cent, 20.8 per cent and 37.5 per cent at one year (p < 0.001). The adjusted hazard ratios of death at one year for each group compared to the normal group were 2.01 (p = 0.021) for cirrhotic patients without decompensation, 4.84 (p < 0.001) for those with decompensation and 2.65 (p < 0.001) for those receiving chemotherapy.
Liver cirrhosis can be used to predict one-year mortality in oral cancer patients. Chemotherapy should be used with caution and underlying co-morbidities should be managed in cirrhotic patients to reduce mortality risk.
The cross-plane thermal conductivities of InGaZnO (IGZO) thin films in different morphologies were measured on three occasions within 19 months, using the 3ω method at room temperature 300 K. Amorphous (a-), semi-crystalline (semi-c-) and crystalline (c-) IGZO films were grown by pulsed laser deposition (PLD), followed by X-ray diffraction (XRD) for evaluation of film quality and crystallinity. Semi-c-IGZO shows the highest thermal conductivity, even higher than the most ordered crystal-like phase. After being stored in dry low-oxygen environment for months, a drastic decrease of semi-c-IGZO thermal conductivity was observed, while the thermal conductivity slightly reduced in c-IGZO and remained unchanged in a-IGZO. This change in thermal conductivity with storage time can be attributed to film structural relaxation and vacancy diffusion to grain boundaries.
The association between Kawasaki disease (KD) and Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has rarely been studied. In this study, we investigated the hypothesis that KD may increase the risk of ADHD using a nationwide Taiwanese population-based claims database.
Our study cohort consisted of patients who were diagnosed with KD between January 1997 and December 2005 (N = 651). For a comparison cohort, five age- and gender-matched control patients for every patient in the study cohort were selected using random sampling (N = 3255). The cumulative incidence of ADHD was 3.89/1000 (from 0.05 to 0.85) in this study. All subjects were tracked for 5 years from the date of cohort entry to identify whether or not they had developed ADHD. Cox proportional hazard regression analysis was performed to evaluate 5-year ADHD-free survival rates.
Of all patients, 83 (2.1%) developed ADHD during the 5-year follow-up period, of whom 21 (3.2%) had KD and 62 (1.9%) were in the comparison cohort. The patients with KD seemed to be at an increased risk of developing ADHD (crude hazard ratio (HR): 1.71; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.04–2.80; p < 0.05). However, after adjusting for gender, age, asthma, allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis and meningitis, the adjusted hazard ratios (AHR) of the ADHD in patients with KD showed no association with the controls (AHR: 1.59; 95% CI = 0.96–2.62; p = 0.07). We also investigated whether or not KD was a gender-dependent risk factor for ADHD, and found that male patients with KD did not have an increased risk of ADHD (AHR: 1.62; 95% CI = 0.96–2.74; p = 0.07) compared with the female patients.
The findings of this population-based study suggest that patients with KD may not have an increased risk of ADHD and whether or not there is an association between KD and ADHD remains uncertain.
A history of self-injurious thoughts and behaviors (SITBs) is consistently cited as one of the strongest predictors of future suicidal behavior. However, stark discrepancies in the literature raise questions about the true magnitude of these associations. The objective of this study is to examine the magnitude and clinical utility of the associations between SITBs and subsequent suicide ideation, attempts, and death.
We searched PubMed, PsycInfo, and Google Scholar for papers published through December 2014. Inclusion required that studies include at least one longitudinal analysis predicting suicide ideation, attempts, or death using any SITB variable. We identified 2179 longitudinal studies; 172 met inclusion criteria.
The most common outcome was suicide attempt (47.80%), followed by death (40.50%) and ideation (11.60%). Median follow-up was 52 months (mean = 82.52, s.d. = 102.29). Overall prediction was weak, with weighted mean odds ratios (ORs) of 2.07 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.76–2.43] for ideation, 2.14 (95% CI 2.00–2.30) for attempts, and 1.54 (95% CI 1.39–1.71) for death. Adjusting for publication bias further reduced estimates. Diagnostic accuracy analyses indicated acceptable specificity (86–87%) and poor sensitivity (10–26%), with areas under the curve marginally above chance (0.60–0.62). Most risk factors generated OR estimates of <2.0 and no risk factor exceeded 4.5. Effects were consistent regardless of sample severity, sample age groups, or follow-up length.
Prior SITBs confer risk for later suicidal thoughts and behaviors. However, they only provide a marginal improvement in diagnostic accuracy above chance. Addressing gaps in study design, assessment, and underlying mechanisms may prove useful in improving prediction and prevention of suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
Using the pediatric version of the Simple Triage and Rapid Treatment (JumpSTART) algorithm for the triage of pediatric patients in a mass-casualty incident (MCI) requires assessing the results of each step and determining whether to move to the next appropriate action. Inappropriate application can lead to performance of unnecessary actions or failure to perform necessary actions.
To report overall accuracy and time required for triage, and to assess if the performance of unnecessary steps, or failure to perform required steps, in the triage algorithm was associated with inaccuracy of triage designation or increased time to reach a triage decision.
Medical students participated in an MCI drill in which they triaged both live actors portraying patients and computer-based simulated patients to the four triage levels: minor, delayed, immediate, and expectant. Their performance was timed and compared to intended triage designations and a priori determined critical actions.
Thirty-three students completed 363 scenarios. The overall accuracy was 85.7% and overall mean time to assign a triage designation was 70.4 seconds, with decreasing times as triage acuity level decreased. In over one-half of cases, the student omitted at least one action and/or performed at least one action that was not required. Each unnecessary action increased time to triage by a mean of 8.4 seconds and each omitted action increased time to triage by a mean of 5.5 seconds.
Increasing triage level, performance of inappropriate actions, and omission of recommended actions were all associated with increasing time to perform triage.
ClaudiusI, KajiAH, SantillanesG, CiceroMX, DonofrioJJ, Gausche-HillM, SrinivasanS, ChangTP. Accuracy, Efficiency, and Inappropriate Actions Using JumpSTART Triage in MCI Simulations. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2015;30(5):457–460.