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Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest natural twinning rate in the world. Unfortunately, due to lack of adequate care during pregnancy, labor and postnatally, twin mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa also remains very high. Thus, it has been estimated that one in five twins dies during the childhood years. In spite of this, surprisingly few twin studies have been conducted in the region, making additional epidemiological data much needed. In 2009, we established one of the first twin registries in Sub-Saharan Africa at the Bandim Health Project in Guinea-Bissau. The registry had two main objectives. First, we wanted to describe the twinning rate and mortality patterns among newborn twins, including mortality risk factors and hospitalization patterns. Such studies can help the local clinicians improve twin health by identifying the most vulnerable children. Second, and in light of the rapidly increasing diabetes rates in Africa, we wanted to use the registry to particularly focus on metabolic disorders. Twins are often born with low birth weight, which according to the ‘thrifty phenotype hypothesis’ could predispose them to metabolic disorders later in life. Yet, no such ‘fetal programming’ data have previously been available from African twins despite the fact that nutritional patterns and influences from other factors (e.g., infections) could be markedly different here compared to high-income settings. In this article, we summarize the findings and current status of the Guinea-Bissau twin registry.
Towards a comprehensive revision of Gesneriaceae in Sri Lanka, 12 names are here typified, of which 11 are lectotypifications, including one second-step lectotypification, and the other is a neotypification.
Two new species of Oreocharis, O. tribracteata and O. rufescens, are described and a key to the species in Vietnam is provided. The new species have distinct features not previously, or rarely, observed in the genus, both showing the partial fusion of the calyx lobes into a tube, and the presence of three bracts in Oreocharis tribracteata.
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.
The SkyMapper Transient survey (SMT) is exploring variability in the southern sky by performing (a) a rolling search to discover and study supernovæ, and (b) a Target of Opportunity programme that uses the robotic SkyMapper Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory. The supernova survey is obtaining a non-targeted sample of Type Ia supernovæ (SNe Ia) at low redshifts, z < 0.1, and studying other interesting transients found with the search strategy. We have a Target of Opportunity programme with an automatic response mechanism to search for optical counterparts to gravitational-wave and fast radio-burst events; it benefits from SkyMapper’s large field of view of 5.7 sq. deg. and a rapid data reduction pipeline.
We present first results of the SMT survey. The SMT pipeline can process and obtain potential candidates within 12 hours of observation. It disentangles real transients from processing artefacts using a machine-learning algorithm. To date, SMT has discovered over 60 spectroscopically confirmed supernovæ, several peculiar objects, and over 40 SNe Ia including one (SNIa 2016hhd) which was found within the first few days of explosion. We have also participated in searches for optical counterparts of gravitational waves, fast radio bursts and other transients, and have published observations of the optical counterpart of the gravitational-wave event GW170817. We also participate in coordinated observations with the Deeper Wider Faster programme, and the Kepler K2 cosmology project.
The SkyMapper 1.3 m telescope at Siding Spring Observatory has now begun regular operations. Alongside the Southern Sky Survey, a comprehensive digital survey of the entire southern sky, SkyMapper will carry out a search for supernovae and other transients. The search strategy, covering a total footprint area of ~2 000 deg2 with a cadence of ⩽5 d, is optimised for discovery and follow-up of low-redshift type Ia supernovae to constrain cosmic expansion and peculiar velocities. We describe the search operations and infrastructure, including a parallelised software pipeline to discover variable objects in difference imaging; simulations of the performance of the survey over its lifetime; public access to discovered transients; and some first results from the Science Verification data.
Both 1st and 2nd generation of antipsychotics are associated with prolonged QTc interval. Prolonged QTc can lead to ventricular tachycardia and Torsade's de pointes, ultimatime resulting to cardiac arrest and sudden death. Prolonged QTc interval due to increased DDD has not yet been investigated.
To investigate whether increased DDD of antipsychotics, causes further prolonged QTc, by patients diagnosed with schizophrenia.
To learn more about antipsychotics impact on the QTc interval in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia.
An observational study of unselected patients diagnosed with schizophrenia. Enrolled from January 2013 through March 2015 with follow-up until June 2015 in the region of central Denmark. Data was collected from ECG records and patient journals.
ECGs were available in 58 patients. We observed no relation between increased DDD of antipsychotics and prolonged QTc. There were no differences in average QTc interval for the whole sample of patients receiving different DDD of antipsychotics.
We do not recommend increased attention to patients treated with higher DDD of antipsychotics.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Aim was to examine depressive symptoms in acutely ill schizophrenia patients on a single symptom basis and to evaluate their relationship with positive, negative and general psychopathological symptoms.
Two hundred and seventy-eight patients suffering from a schizophrenia spectrum disorder were analysed within a naturalistic study by the German Research Network on Schizophrenia. Using the Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia (CDSS) depressive symptoms were examined and the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) was applied to assess positive, negative and general symptoms. Correlation and factor analyses were calculated to detect the underlying structure and relationship of the patient’s symptoms.
The most prevalent depressive symptoms identified were depressed mood (80%), observed depression (62%) and hopelessness (54%). Thirty-nine percent of the patients suffered from depressive symptoms when applying the recommended cut-off of a CDSS total score of > 6 points at admission. Negligible correlations were found between depressive and positive symptoms as well as most PANSS negative and global symptoms despite items on depression, guilt and social withdrawal. The factor analysis revealed that the factor loading with the PANSS negative items accounted for most of the data variance followed by a factor with positive symptoms and three depression-associated factors.
The naturalistic study design does not allow a sufficient control of study results for the effect of different pharmacological treatments possibly influencing the appearance of depressive symptoms.
Results suggest that depressive symptoms measured with the CDSS are a discrete symptom domain with only partial overlap with positive or negative symptoms.
We investigated an outbreak of gastroenteritis following a Christmas buffet served on 4–9 December 2012 to ~1300 hotel guests. More than 300 people were reported ill in initial interviews with hotel guests. To identify possible sources of infection we conducted a cohort investigation through which we identified 214 probable cases. Illness was associated with consumption of scrambled eggs (odds ratio 9·07, 95% confidence interval 5·20–15·84). Imported chives added fresh to the scrambled eggs were the suspected source of the outbreak but were unavailable for testing. Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) infection was eventually confirmed in 40 hotel guests. This outbreak reinforces that ETEC should be considered in non-endemic countries when the clinical picture is consistent and common gastrointestinal pathogens are not found. Following this outbreak, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority recommended that imported fresh herbs should be heat-treated before use in commercial kitchens.
Higher all-cause mortality and shorter life expectancies for people with severe mental illness (SMI, including schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and bipolar disorder) have been frequently reported. Cancer contributes a substantial proportion of mortality (20 to 30%) as the second or third leading cause of death among people with SMI. Outcomes of cancer incidence studies in SMI were considerably heterogeneous, varying by cancer types and mental disorders.
To compare the incidence of overall and each type of cancer between people with SMI in southeast London and general population in UK.
Using the anonymised linkage between a regional monopoly secondary mental health service provider covering four southeast London boroughs and a population-based cancer register, we carried out the comparisons of cancer incidences between people with SMI and general population by age- and gender-standardisation in 2011.
Among SMI subjects with cancer (N=105), the most common cancer types were lung and colorectal cancer followed by breast cancer for women and prostate cancer for men in this area. Standardised incidence ratios (SIRs) for all cancers in SMI were 1.19 (95% CI: 0.97-1.44) overall, 2.43 (95% CI: 1.98-2.94) in men (n=61), and 0.98 (95% CI: 0.71-1.31) in women (n=44). Based on relatively small case numbers, raised SIRs were found for lung cancer in men (SIR=7.57, 95% CI: 3.04-15.6) and women (SIR=7.61, 95% CI: 2.79-16.6), and in women for colorectal (SIR=7.85, 95%CI: 2.55-18.32) and breast cancer (SIR=7.86, 95% CI: 4.58-12.59).
Specific pattern of elevated risks of cancer incidence were found for people with SMI.
Self-ratings of psychotic experiences might be biased by depressive symptoms.
Data from a large naturalistic multicentre trial on depressed inpatients (n = 488) who were assessed on a biweekly basis until discharge were analyzed. Self-rated psychotic symptoms as assessed with the 90-Item Symptom Checklist (SCL-90) were correlated with the SCL-90 total score, the SCL-90 depression score, the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale 21 item (HAMD-21) total score, the Montgomery Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) total score and the clinician-rated paranoid-hallucinatory score of the Association for Methodology and Documentation in Psychiatry (AMDP) scale.
At discharge the SCL-90 psychosis score correlated highest with the SCL-90 depression score (0.78, P<0.001) and with the BDI total score (0.64, P<0.001). Moderate correlations were found for the MADRS (0.34, P<0.001), HAMD (0.37, P<0.001) and AMDP depression score (0.33, P<0.001). Only a weak correlation was found between the SCL-90 psychosis score and the AMDP paranoid-hallucinatory syndrome score (0.15, P<0.001). Linear regression showed that change in self-rated psychotic symptoms over the treatment course was best explained by a change in the SCL-90 depression score (P<0.001). The change in clinician-rated AMDP paranoid-hallucinatory score had lesser influence (P = 0.02).
In depressed patients self-rated psychotic symptoms correlate poorly with clinician-rated psychotic symptoms. Caution is warranted when interpreting results from epidemiological surveys using self-rated psychotic symptom questionnaires as indicators of psychotic symptoms. Depressive symptoms which are highly prevalent in the general population might influence such self-ratings.
The objective was to assess the ability of the in situ mobile nylon bag method for predicting small intestinal and total tract starch digestibility. Starch disappearance was measured for 18 samples of different cereals and legumes subjected to different physical and chemical processing methods and compared with coherent in vivo digestibility. Starch disappearance was measured both with and without initial ruminal pre-incubation during 4 h. Bags were retrieved from either the ileal cannula or faeces. Two dry Danish Holstein cows fitted with rumen cannulas were used for rumen pre-incubations and two lactating Danish Holstein cows fitted with duodenal and ileal cannulas were used for intestinal incubations. Rumen pre-incubation had no significant effect on disappearance from bags recovered in faeces. The disappearance of legume starch was lower, both in the rumen and small intestine, compared with starch from barley, wheat, oats, ear maize and maize. Transit times of the mobile bags from duodenum to ileum were not significantly different between feeds. A weak positive correlation was found between in vivo small intestinal and total tract digestibility of starch and disappearance obtained using the mobile bag technique across a broad range of starch sources. Omitting two less conventional starch sources (NaOH wheat and xylose-treated barley) resulted in a high (0.87) correlation between total tract in vivo digestibility and mobile bag disappearance. The use of the mobile bag method for estimation of in vivo starch digestibility will therefore depend on the starch type.
To analyse insight of illness during the course of inpatient treatment, and to identify influencing factors and predictors of insight.
Insight into illness was examined in 399 patients using the item G12 of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (“lack of insight and judgement”). Ratings of the PANSS, HAMD, UKU, GAF, SOFAS, SWN-K and Kemp's compliance scale were performed and examined regarding their potential association with insight. The item G12 was kept as an ordinal variable to compare insight between subgroups of patients.
Almost 70% of patients had deficits in their insight into illness at admission. A significant improvement of impairments of insight during the treatment (p<0.0001) was observed. At admission more severe positive and negative symptoms, worse functioning and worse adherence were significantly associated with poorer insight. Less depressive symptoms (p = 0.0004), less suicidality (p = 0.0218), suffering from multiple illness-episodes (p<0.0001) and worse adherence (p = 0.0012) at admission were identified to be significant predictors of poor insight at discharge.
The revealed predictors might function as treatment targets in order to improve insight and with it outcome of schizophrenia.
Recently, the usage of optical fiber coils has increased significantly, especially in the design of physic and chemical sensors. Therefore, it is important to test the theoretical current models developed to predict the power loss throughout optical fiber. In this paper a pioneer and popular model, the Marcuse model of power loss, was studied and evaluated for optical fiber coils of small radii. Power attenuation in a bent fiber data was collected using an Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR), and it was compared to the theoretical predictions of the Marcuse model. It was observed that the model predicts correctly the attenuation behavior for usual curvature radii, however, it fails to predict accurately the attenuation behavior for small curvature radii, underestimating considerably the actual power loss. Also, it has been observed that at small radii the power loss parameter 2α and the mode propagation constant of the wave guide β stop being constants and become functions of the optical path, particularly of the number of loops in the coil. It is possible that new mechanisms of light leaking are present, due to the extreme distortion of the modes configuration into the fiber at small radii. Those mechanisms cannot be described by a model that considers a power loss parameter 2α, and more specifically the mode propagation constant of the wave guide (β) as constants. Then it is important to develop other models where the previous parameters can be considered as functions of the optical path.
Young people with self-experienced cognitive thought and perception deficits (basic symptoms) may present with an early initial prodromal state (EIPS) of psychosis in which most of the disability and neurobiological deficits of schizophrenia have not yet occurred.
To investigate the effects of an integrated psychological intervention (IPI), combining individual cognitive–behavioural therapy, group skills training, cognitive remediation and multifamily psychoeducation, on the prevention of psychosis in the EIPS.
A randomised controlled, multicentre, parallel group trial of 12 months of IPI v. supportive counselling (trial registration number: NCT00204087). Primary outcome was progression to psychosis at 12- and 24-month follow-up.
A total of 128 help-seeking out-patients in an EIPS were randomised. Integrated psychological intervention was superior to supportive counselling in preventing progression to psychosis at 12-month follow-up (3.2% v. 16.9%; P = 0.008) and at 24-month follow-up (6.3% v. 20.0%; P = 0.019).
Integrated psychological intervention appears effective in delaying the onset of psychosis over a 24-month time period in people in an EIPS.