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The purpose of the present chapter is to investigate discourses on foreign language teaching and, in particular, the teaching of English in Switzerland, with a view to showing how these have come to play a significant, although inadvertent, socio-political role that potentially challenges Swiss national cohesion at the federal level.
The science of studying diamond inclusions for understanding Earth history has developed significantly over the past decades, with new instrumentation and techniques applied to diamond sample archives revealing the stories contained within diamond inclusions. This chapter reviews what diamonds can tell us about the deep carbon cycle over the course of Earth’s history. It reviews how the geochemistry of diamonds and their inclusions inform us about the deep carbon cycle, the origin of the diamonds in Earth’s mantle, and the evolution of diamonds through time.
To investigate the percentage of patients who commenced smoking after transferring out of a non-smoking forensic psychiatric unit, the corresponding clozapine dose adjustments, the effects on plasma clozapine/norclozapine concentrations and observed changes in mental state. We reviewed the notes and plasma clozapine/norclozapine concentrations of 46 patients transferred to medium secure units between July 2008 and December 2013.
Thirty-five patients commenced smoking. Their median clozapine dose was increased by 50 mg/d. In the non-smokers, the median clozapine dose remained unchanged. Plasma clozapine/norclozapine concentrations were significantly reduced in smokers despite dosage adjustment. Eighteen patients experienced deterioration in mental state after transfer; almost all these patients were smokers.
Approximately three-quarters of patients who were non-smokers by virtue of being in a secure non-smoking environment commenced smoking after transfer. Monitoring of clozapine serum levels and assessment of mental state in the immediate period after a change in smoking status is indicated.
The Comprehensive Assessment of Neurodegeneration and Dementia (COMPASS-ND) cohort study of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) is a national initiative to catalyze research on dementia, set up to support the research agendas of CCNA teams. This cross-country longitudinal cohort of 2310 deeply phenotyped subjects with various forms of dementia and mild memory loss or concerns, along with cognitively intact elderly subjects, will test hypotheses generated by these teams.
The COMPASS-ND protocol, initial grant proposal for funding, fifth semi-annual CCNA Progress Report submitted to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research December 2017, and other documents supplemented by modifications made and lessons learned after implementation were used by the authors to create the description of the study provided here.
The CCNA COMPASS-ND cohort includes participants from across Canada with various cognitive conditions associated with or at risk of neurodegenerative diseases. They will undergo a wide range of experimental, clinical, imaging, and genetic investigation to specifically address the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of these conditions in the aging population. Data derived from clinical and cognitive assessments, biospecimens, brain imaging, genetics, and brain donations will be used to test hypotheses generated by CCNA research teams and other Canadian researchers. The study is the most comprehensive and ambitious Canadian study of dementia. Initial data posting occurred in 2018, with the full cohort to be accrued by 2020.
Availability of data from the COMPASS-ND study will provide a major stimulus for dementia research in Canada in the coming years.
Background: Chorea-acanthocytosis (ChAc) is a rare autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disease due to mutation of the VPS13A gene encoding the protein chorein. ChAc is a slowly progressive disorder that typically presents in early adulthood, and whose clinical features include chorea and dystonia with involuntary lip, cheek and tongue biting. Some patients also have seizures. Treatment for ChAc is symptomatic. A small number of ChAc patients have been treated with bilateral deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the globus pallidus interna (GPi), and we now present an additional case. Methods: Patient chart, functional measures, and laboratory findings were reviewed from the time of ChAc diagnosis until 6 months after deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery. Results: Here we present a case of ChAc in a 31 year old male positive for VPS13A gene muations who presented with chorea, tongue biting, dysarthria, weight loss, and mild cognitive dysfunction. GPi-DBS using monopolar stimulation was associated with significant improvement in chorea and dysarthria. Conclusions: This case adds to the current state of knowledge regarding the efficacy and safety of bilateral GPi-DBS for symptomatic control of drug-resistant hyperkinetic movements seen in ChAc. Controlled trials are needed to better assess the impact of DBS in ChAc.
Mental health services in the UK National Health Service have evolved to include primary-care generalist, secondary-care generalist and secondary-care specialist services. We argue that there continues to be an important role for the secondary-care generalists as they minimise interfaces, can live with diagnostic uncertainty and support continuity of care. The lack of commissioning and clinical boundaries in secondary-care generalist services can undermine their feasibility, leading to difficulties recruiting and retaining staff. There is a risk of a polo-mint service, where the specialist services on the edge are well resourced, but the secondary-care generalist services taking the greatest burden struggle to recruit and retain clinicians. We need to establish equity in resources and expectations between generalist and specialist mental health services.
Delirium is very frequent in older patients presenting to the emergency department (ED), but is often undetected. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the performance of the French version of the 4 A’s Test (4AT-F) for the detection of delirium and cognitive impairment in older patients.
The study was conducted in four Canadian ED. Participants (n= 320) were independent or semi-independent patients (able to perform ≥5 activities of daily living) aged 65 and older and had an 8-hour exposure to the ED environment. The Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status (TICS-m), the Confusion Assessment Method (CAM) as well as the 4AT-F were administered to patients at the initial interview. The CAM and 4AT-F were then administered twice a day during the patients’ ED or hospital stay. The 4AT-F’s sensitivity and specificity were compared to those of the CAM (for delirium), and to that of the TICS (for cognitive impairment).
Our results suggest that the 4AT-F has a sensitivity of 84% (95% CI: [76, 93]) and a specificity of 74% (95% CI: [70, 78]) for delirium, as well as a sensitivity of 49% (95% CI: [34, 64]) and a specificity of 87% (95% CI: [82, 92]) for cognitive impairment.
The 4AT-F is a fast and reliable screening tool for delirium and cognitive impairment in ED. Due to its quick administration time, it allows a systematic screening of patients at risk of delirium, without significantly increasing the workload of the ED staff.
Inflammation of the mammary gland following bacterial infection, commonly known as mastitis, affects all mammalian species. Although the aetiology and epidemiology of mastitis in the dairy cow are well described, the genetic factors mediating resistance to mammary gland infection are not well known, due in part to the difficulty in obtaining robust phenotypic information from sufficiently large numbers of individuals. To address this problem, an experimental mammary gland infection experiment was undertaken, using a Friesian-Jersey cross breed F2 herd. A total of 604 animals received an intramammary infusion of Streptococcus uberis in one gland, and the clinical response over 13 milkings was used for linkage mapping and genome-wide association analysis. A quantitative trait locus (QTL) was detected on bovine chromosome 11 for clinical mastitis status using micro-satellite and Affymetrix 10 K SNP markers, and then exome and genome sequence data used from the six F1 sires of the experimental animals to examine this region in more detail. A total of 485 sequence variants were typed in the QTL interval, and association mapping using these and an additional 37 986 genome-wide markers from the Illumina SNP50 bovine SNP panel revealed association with markers encompassing the interleukin-1 gene cluster locus. This study highlights a region on bovine chromosome 11, consistent with earlier studies, as conferring resistance to experimentally induced mammary gland infection, and newly prioritises the IL1 gene cluster for further analysis in genetic resistance to mastitis.
There is little evidence to guide pharmacological treatment in adults with Down syndrome and Alzheimer's disease.
To investigate the effect of cholinesterase inhibitors or memantine on survival and function in adults with Down syndrome and Alzheimer's disease.
This was a naturalistic longitudinal follow-up of a clinical cohort of 310 people with Down syndrome diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease collected from specialist community services in England.
Median survival time (5.59 years, 95% CI 4.67–6.67) for those on medication (n = 145, mainly cholinesterase inhibitors) was significantly greater than for those not prescribed medication (n = 165) (3.45 years, 95% CI 2.91–4.13, log-rank test P<0.001). Sequential assessments demonstrated an early effect in maintaining cognitive function.
Cholinesterase inhibitors appear to offer benefit for people with Down syndrome and Alzheimer's disease that is comparable with sporadic Alzheimer's disease; a trial to test the effect of earlier treatment (prodromal Alzheimer's disease) in Down syndrome may be indicated.
Declaration of interest
A.S. has undertaken consulting for Ono Pharmaceuticals, outside the submitted work. Z.W. has received a consultancy fee and grant from GE Healthcare, outside the submitted work.
We present the first data release of the SkyMapper Southern Survey, a hemispheric survey carried out with the SkyMapper Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia. Here, we present the survey strategy, data processing, catalogue construction, and database schema. The first data release dataset includes over 66 000 images from the Shallow Survey component, covering an area of 17 200 deg2 in all six SkyMapper passbands uvgriz, while the full area covered by any passband exceeds 20 000 deg2. The catalogues contain over 285 million unique astrophysical objects, complete to roughly 18 mag in all bands. We compare our griz point-source photometry with Pan-STARRS1 first data release and note an RMS scatter of 2%. The internal reproducibility of SkyMapper photometry is on the order of 1%. Astrometric precision is better than 0.2 arcsec based on comparison with Gaia first data release. We describe the end-user database, through which data are presented to the world community, and provide some illustrative science queries.
The relationship between depression and sexual behaviour among men who have sex with men (MSM) is poorly understood.
To investigate prevalence and correlates of depressive symptoms (Patient Health Questionnaire-9 score ≥10) and the relationship between depressive symptoms and sexual behaviour among MSM reporting recent sex.
The Attitudes to and Understanding of Risk of Acquisition of HIV (AURAH) is a cross-sectional study of UK genitourinary medicine clinic attendees without diagnosed HIV (2013–2014).
Among 1340 MSM, depressive symptoms (12.4%) were strongly associated with socioeconomic disadvantage and lower supportive network. Adjusted for key sociodemographic factors, depressive symptoms were associated with measures of condomless sex partners in the past 3 months (≥2 (prevalence ratio (PR) 1.42, 95% CI 1.17–1.74; P=0.001), unknown or HIV-positive status (PR 1.43, 95% CI 1.20–1.71; P<0.001)), sexually transmitted infection (STI) diagnosis (PR 1.46, 95% CI 1.19–1.79; P<0.001) and post-exposure prophylaxis use in the past year (PR 1.83, 95% CI 1.33–2.50; P<0.001).
Management of mental health may play a role in HIV and STI prevention.
Our current global food system – from food production to consumption, including manufacture, packaging, transport, retail and associated businesses – is responsible for extensive negative social and environmental impacts which threaten the long-term well-being of society. This has led to increasing calls from science–policy organizations for major reform and transformation of the global food system. However, our knowledge regarding food system transformations is fragmented and this is hindering the development of co-ordinated solutions. Here, we collate recent research across several academic disciplines and sectors in order to better understand the mechanisms that ‘lock-in’ food systems in unsustainable states.
Little is known about the current views and practices of healthcare professionals (HCPs) in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) regarding delivery of hospital palliative care. The present qualitative study explored the views of nursing staff and medical professionals on providing palliative and end-of-life care (EoLC) to hospital inpatients in Tanzania.
Focus group discussions were conducted with a purposive sample of HCPs working on the medical and pediatric wards of the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre, a tertiary referral hospital in northern Tanzania. Transcriptions were coded using a thematic approach.
In total, 32 healthcare workers were interviewed via 7 focus group discussions and 1 semistructured interview. Four major themes were identified. First, HCPs held strong views on what factors were important to enable individuals with a life-limiting diagnosis to live and die well. Arriving at a state of “acceptance” was the ultimate goal; however, they acknowledged that they often fell short of achieving this for inpatients. Thus, the second theme involved identifying the “barriers” to delivering palliative care in hospital. Another important factor identified was difficulty with complex communications, particularly “breaking bad news,” the third theme. Fourth, participants were divided about their personal preferences for “place of EoLC,” but all emphasized the benefits of the hospital setting so as to enable better symptom control.
Significance of results:
Despite the fact that all the HCPs interviewed were regularly involved in providing palliative and EoLC, they had received limited formal training in its provision, although they identified such training as a universal requirement. This training gap is likely to be present across much of SSA. Palliative care training, particularly in terms of communication skills, should be comprehensively integrated within undergraduate and postgraduate education. Research is needed to develop culturally appropriate curricula to equip HCPs to manage the complex communication challenges that occur in caring for a diverse inpatient group with palliative care needs.
Since the AD 775 and AD 994 Δ14C peak (henceforth M12) was first measured by Miyake et al. (2012, 2013), several possible production mechanisms for these spike have been suggested, but the work of Mekhaldi et al. (2015) shows that a very soft energy spectrum was involved, implying that a strong solar energetic particle (SEP) event (or series of events) was responsible. Here we present Δ14C values from AD 721–820 Sequoiadendron giganteum annual tree-ring samples from Sequoia National Park in California, USA, together with Δ14C in German oak from 650–670 BC. The AD 721–820 measurements confirm that a sharp Δ14C peak exists at AD 775, with a peak height of approximately 15‰ and show that this spike was preceded by several decades of rapidly decreasing Δ14C. A sharp peak is also present at 660 BC, with a peak height of about 10‰, and published data (Reimer et al. 2013) indicate that it too was preceded by a multi-decadal Δ14C decrease, suggesting that solar activity was very strong just prior to both Δ14C peaks and may be causally related. During periods of strong solar activity there is increased probability for coronal mass ejection (CME) events that can subject the Earth’s atmosphere to high fluencies of solar energetic particles (SEPs). Periods of high solar activity (such as one in October–November 2003) can also often include many large, fast CMEs increasing the probability of geomagnetic storms. In this paper we suggest that the combination of large SEP events and elevated geomagnetic activity can lead to enhanced production of 14C and other cosmogenic isotopes by increasing the area of the atmosphere that is irradiated by high solar energetic particles.
Computerised cognitive–behavioural therapy (cCBT) for depression has the potential to be efficient therapy but engagement is poor in primary care trials.
We tested the benefits of adding telephone support to cCBT.
We compared telephone-facilitated cCBT (MoodGYM) (n = 187) to minimally supported cCBT (MoodGYM) (n = 182) in a pragmatic randomised trial (trial registration: ISRCTN55310481). Outcomes were depression severity (Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ)-9), anxiety (Generalized Anxiety Disorder Questionnaire (GAD)-7) and somatoform complaints (PHQ-15) at 4 and 12 months.
Use of cCBT increased by a factor of between 1.5 and 2 with telephone facilitation. At 4 months PHQ-9 scores were 1.9 points lower (95% CI 0.5–3.3) for telephone-supported cCBT. At 12 months, the results were no longer statistically significant (0.9 PHQ-9 points, 95% CI −0.5 to 2.3). There was improvement in anxiety scores and for somatic complaints.
Telephone facilitation of cCBT improves engagement and expedites depression improvement. The effect was small to moderate and comparable with other low-intensity psychological interventions.