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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.
Mastoiditis is the most common intra-temporal complication of acute otitis media. Despite potentially lethal sequelae, optimal management remains poorly defined.
A retrospective case review was conducted of children diagnosed with mastoiditis at a tertiary referral centre, in North East England, between 2010 and 2017.
Fifty-one cases were identified, 49 without cholesteatoma. Median patient age was 42 months (2 months to 18 years) and median hospital stay was 4 days (range, 0–27 days). There was no incidence trend over time. Imaging was conducted in 15 out of 49 cases. Surgery was performed in 29 out of 49 cases, most commonly mastoidectomy with (9 out of 29) or without (9 out of 29) grommets. Complications included sigmoid sinus thrombosis (3 out of 49) and extradural abscess (2 out of 51), amongst others; no fatalities occurred.
A detailed contemporary description of paediatric mastoiditis presentation and management is presented. The findings broadly mirror those published by other UK centres, but suggest a higher rate of identified disease complications and surgical interventions.
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has laid down certain guidelines for prescribing Anti-cholinesterases in patients with dementia. Keeping in mind the NICE guidance, an audit was conducted to see whether these were followed.
Aims and objectives
To ascertain the level of compliance to the NICE guidance and ensure they are adhered to.
The data was collected from patients attending the memory clinic at Park Royal Centre for Mental Health in Central London over a six month period. Sixteen patients were randomly selected for this audit. The baseline MMSE score was recorded and also the medication prescribed.
The baseline MMSE score in all the 16 (100%) patients was above the recommended score of 12.
The MMSE score was done in 12(75%) patients during follow up at 4–6 months.
Of the 12 available MMSE scores at follow up, none were below 12 and hence continued treatment.
In 2 (12.5%) patients there was an improvement, in 6 (37.5%) patients there was a fall and in 4 (25%) patients there was no change in the MMSE score at follow up.
It was found that the NICE guidance was followed in most (75%) patients.
Epidemiological studies have reported that the increased risk of developing psychosis in cannabis users is dose related. In addition, experimental research has shown that the active constituent of cannabis responsible for its psychotogenic effect is Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (Murray et al, 2007). Recent evidence has suggested an increased in potency (% TCH) in the cannabis seized in the UK (Potter et al, 2007).
We predicted that first episode psychosis patients are more likely to use higher potency cannabis and more frequently than controls.
We collected information concerning socio-demographic, clinical characteristics and cannabis use (age at first use, frequency, length of use, type of cannabis used) from a sample of 191 first-episode psychosis patients and 120 matched healthy volunteers. All were recruited as part of the Genetic and Psychosis (GAP) study which studied all patients who presented to the South London and Maudsley Trust.
There was no significant difference in the life-time prevalence of cannabis use or age at first use between cases and controls. However, cases were more likely to be regular users (p=0.05), to be current users (p=0.04) and to have smoked cannabis for longer (p=0.01). Among cannabis users, 86.8% of 1st Episode Psychosis Patients preferentially used Skunk/Sinsemilla compared to 27.7% of Controls. Only 13.2 % of 1st Episode psychosis Patients chose to use Resin/Hash compared to 76.3% of controls. The concentration of TCH in these in South East London, ranges between 8.5 and 14 % (Potter et al, 2007). Controls (47%) were more likely to use Hash (Resin) whose average TCH concentration is 3.4% (Potter et al, 2007).
Patients with first episode psychosis have smoked higher potency cannabis, for longer and with greater frequency, than healthy controls.
The functional Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT Val 108/158 Met) polymorphism has been shown to have an impact on tasks of executive function, memory and attention and recently, tasks with an affective component. As estrogen may downregulate COMT, we were interested in the effect of gender, COMT genotype and the interaction between these factors on brain activations during an affective processing task. We used functional MRI to record brain activations from 74 healthy subjects who engaged in a facial affect recognition task; subjects viewed and identified fearful faces compared to neutral faces. We found a significant effect of gender on brain activations in the left amygdala and right superior temporal gyrus, where females demonstrated increased activations over males. Within these regions, female val/val carriers showed greater activity compared to met/met carriers, while male participants with a met/met allele showed greater deactivations compared to val/val carriers. There was no main effect of the COMT polymorphism, gender or genotype by gender interaction on task performance. We propose that the observed effects of gender and COMT allele on brain activations arise from differences in dopamine levels in these groups and that the gender differences and gender genotype interaction may be due to the downregulation of COMT by estrogen.
Heterotrophic soil protists encompass lineages that are both evolutionarily ancient and highly diverse, providing an untapped wealth of scientific insight. Yet the diversity of free-living heterotrophic terrestrial protists is still largely unknown. To contribute to our understanding of this diversity, we present a checklist of heterotrophic protists currently reported from terrestrial Antarctica, for which no comprehensive evaluation currently exists. As a polar continent, Antarctica is especially susceptible to rising temperatures caused by anthropogenic climate change. Establishing a baseline for future conservation efforts of Antarctic protists is therefore important. We performed a literature search and found 236 taxa identified to species and an additional 303 taxa identified to higher taxonomic levels in 54 studies spanning over 100 years of research. Isolated by distance, climate and the circumpolar vortex, Antarctica is the most extreme continent on Earth: it is not unreasonable to think that it may host physiologically and evolutionarily unique species of protists, yet currently most species discovered in Antarctica are considered cosmopolitan. Additional sampling of the more extreme intra-continental zones will probably result in the discovery of more novel and unique taxa.
This study originated in collaboration with Thomas Dishion because of concerns that a group format for aggressive children might dampen the effects of cognitive-behavioral intervention. Three hundred sixty aggressive preadolescent children were screened through teacher and parent ratings. Schools were randomized to receive either an individual or a group format of the child component of the same evidence-based program. The results indicate that there is variability in how group-based cognitive-behavioral intervention can affect aggressive children through a long 4-year follow-up after the end of the intervention. Aggressive children who have higher skin conductance reactivity (potentially an indicator of poorer emotion regulation) and who have a variant of the oxytocin receptor gene that may be associated with being hyperinvolved in social bonding have better outcomes in their teacher-rated externalizing behavior outcomes over time if they were seen individually rather than in groups. Analyses also indicated that higher levels of the group leaders’ clinical skills predicted reduced externalizing behavior problems. Implications for group versus individual format of cognitive-behavioral interventions for aggressive children, and for intensive training for group therapists, informed by these results, are discussed.
Introduction: Although oral rehydration therapy is recommended for children with acute gastroenteritis (AGE) with none to some dehydration, intravenous (IV) rehydration is still commonly administered to these children in high-income countries. IV rehydration is associated with pain, anxiety, and emergency department (ED) revisits in children with AGE. A better understanding of the factors associated with IV rehydration is needed to inform knowledge translation strategies. Methods: This was a planned secondary analysis of the Pediatric Emergency Research Canada (PERC) and Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN) randomized, controlled trials of oral probiotics in children with AGE-associated diarrhea. Eligible children were aged 3-48 months and reported > 3 watery stools in a 24-hour period. The primary outcome was administration of IV rehydration at the index ED visit. We used mixed-effects logistic regression model to explore univariable and multivariable relationships between IV rehydration and a priori risk factors. Results: From the parent study sample of 1848 participants, 1846 had data available for analysis: mean (SD) age of 19.1 ± 11.4 months, 45.4% females. 70.2% (1292/1840) vomited within 24 hours of the index ED visit and 34.1% (629/1846) received ondansetron in the ED. 13.0% (240/1846) were administered IV rehydration at the index ED visit, and 3.6% (67/1842) were hospitalized. Multivariable predictors of IV rehydration were Clinical Dehydration Scale (CDS) score [compared to none: mild to moderate (OR: 8.1, CI: 5.5-11.8); severe (OR: 45.9, 95% CI: 20.1-104.7), P < 0.001], ondansetron in the ED (OR: 1.8, CI: 1.2-2.6, P = 0.003), previous healthcare visit for the same illness [compared to no prior visit: prior visit with no IV (OR: 1.9, 95% CI: 1.3-2.9); prior visit with IV (OR: 10.5, 95% CI: 3.2-34.8), P < 0.001], and country [compared to Canada: US (OR: 4.1, CI: 2.3-7.4, P < 0.001]. Significantly more participants returned to the ED with symptoms of AGE within 3 days if IV fluids were administered at the index visit [30/224 (13.4%) versus 88/1453 (6.1%), P < 0.001]. Conclusion: Higher CDS scores, antiemetic use, previous healthcare visits and country were independent predictors of IV rehydration which was also associated with increased ED revisits. Knowledge translation focused on optimizing the use of antiemetics (i.e. for those with dehydration) and reducing the geographic variation in IV rehydration use may improve the ED experience and reduce ED-revisits.
Filamentary structures can form within the beam of protons accelerated during the interaction of an intense laser pulse with an ultrathin foil target. Such behaviour is shown to be dependent upon the formation time of quasi-static magnetic field structures throughout the target volume and the extent of the rear surface proton expansion over the same period. This is observed via both numerical and experimental investigations. By controlling the intensity profile of the laser drive, via the use of two temporally separated pulses, both the initial rear surface proton expansion and magnetic field formation time can be varied, resulting in modification to the degree of filamentary structure present within the laser-driven proton beam.
In this report, a unique case of a symptomatic vascular ring formed by right aortic arch, aberrant left subclavian artery, and left ligamentum arteriosus in which there is atresia of the proximal left subclavian artery is described. Imaging modalities were non-diagnostic and the patient was sent to surgery based on strong clinical suspicion. Her anatomy was delineated in the operating room and the ring was successfully repaired.
Analysing temporal patterns in foodborne illness is important to designing and implementing effective food safety measures. The reported incidence of illness due to Salmonella in the USA. Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) sites has exhibited no declining trend since 1996; however, there have been significant annual trends among principal Salmonella serotypes, which may exhibit complex seasonal patterns. Data from the original FoodNet sites and penalised cubic B-spline regression are used to estimate temporal patterns in the reported incidence of illness for the top three Salmonella serotypes during 1996–2014. Our results include 95% confidence bands around the estimated annual and monthly curves for each serotype. The results show that Salmonella serotype Typhimurium exhibits a statistically significant declining annual trend and seasonality (P < 0.001) marked by peaks in late summer and early winter. Serotype Enteritidis exhibits a significant annual trend with a higher incidence in later years and seasonality (P < 0.001) marked by a peak in late summer. Serotype Newport exhibits no significant annual trend with significant seasonality (P < 0.001) marked by a peak in late summer.
Recently, there has been increased emphasis on the development and application of patient-reported outcome measures. This drive to assess the impact of illness or interventions, from the patient's perspective, has resulted in a greater number of available questionnaires. The importance of selecting an appropriate patient-reported outcome measure is specifically emphasised in the paediatric population. The literature on patient-reported outcome measures used in paediatric otolaryngology was reviewed.
A comprehensive literature search was conducted using the databases Medline, Embase, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and PsycInfo, using the terms: ‘health assessment questionnaire’, ‘structured questionnaire’, ‘questionnaire’, ‘patient reported outcome measures’, ‘PROM’, ‘quality of life’ or ‘survey’, and ‘children’ or ‘otolaryngology’. The search was limited to English-language articles published between 1996 and 2016.
The search yielded 656 articles, of which 63 were considered relevant. This included general paediatric patient-reported outcome measures applied to otolaryngology, and paediatric otolaryngology disease-specific patient-reported outcome measures.
A large collection of patient-reported outcome measures are described in the paediatric otolaryngology literature. Greater standardisation of the patient-reported outcome measures used in paediatric otolaryngology would assist in pooling of data and increase the validation of tools used.
A range of endophenotypes characterise psychosis, however there has been limited work understanding if and how they are inter-related.
This multi-centre study includes 8754 participants: 2212 people with a psychotic disorder, 1487 unaffected relatives of probands, and 5055 healthy controls. We investigated cognition [digit span (N = 3127), block design (N = 5491), and the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (N = 3543)], electrophysiology [P300 amplitude and latency (N = 1102)], and neuroanatomy [lateral ventricular volume (N = 1721)]. We used linear regression to assess the interrelationships between endophenotypes.
The P300 amplitude and latency were not associated (regression coef. −0.06, 95% CI −0.12 to 0.01, p = 0.060), and P300 amplitude was positively associated with block design (coef. 0.19, 95% CI 0.10–0.28, p < 0.001). There was no evidence of associations between lateral ventricular volume and the other measures (all p > 0.38). All the cognitive endophenotypes were associated with each other in the expected directions (all p < 0.001). Lastly, the relationships between pairs of endophenotypes were consistent in all three participant groups, differing for some of the cognitive pairings only in the strengths of the relationships.
The P300 amplitude and latency are independent endophenotypes; the former indexing spatial visualisation and working memory, and the latter is hypothesised to index basic processing speed. Individuals with psychotic illnesses, their unaffected relatives, and healthy controls all show similar patterns of associations between endophenotypes, endorsing the theory of a continuum of psychosis liability across the population.
Supraglottoplasty for the treatment of laryngomalacia has little current evidence regarding post-operative care. Our study aimed to: (1) retrospectively assess what proportion of patients required paediatric intensive care unit level of care; (2) identify pre-operative predictive factors common to these cases; and (3) report patient outcomes at six weeks’ follow up.
A 10-year retrospective case series analysis was conducted of all patients diagnosed with laryngomalacia and subsequently treated with supraglottoplasty. Paediatric intensive care unit level of care was defined as the need for intubation or tracheostomy, positive pressure ventilation, multiple doses of nebulised adrenaline, and oxygen dependency beyond 12 hours.
Forty-two patients (19 males, 23 females) were identified; 28.5 per cent of cases met our criteria for paediatric intensive care unit level of care. A low pre-operative oxygen saturation was the only significant risk factor that predicted a future need for paediatric intensive care unit level of care (p = 0.0008).
This is the first study published in the UK to suggest the importance of pre-operative oxygen saturation as a predictor of a future need for paediatric intensive care unit level of care.
This paper reports three cases of severe post-stapedectomy granuloma, emphasising the variable presentation of this devastating complication and the challenges of its management.
A retrospective review was conducted of three cases of post-stapedectomy granuloma requiring surgical debulking between 2010 and 2015. Clinical symptoms, serial imaging, histopathology and post-operative outcomes were considered.
Intra-operatively, extensive granulation tissue with erosion of the otic capsule was found. There was spread along the VIIth and VIIIth cranial nerves to the cochlear nucleus in one patient. Post-operative clinical improvement was demonstrable, corroborated by diminution of contrast enhancement on serial magnetic resonance imaging. Facial nerve function recovered, tinnitus amelioration was variable and some otalgia persisted. Post-operative complications included grade IV facial weakness and late Pseudomonas aeruginosa meningitis, which all resolved.
To the authors’ knowledge, this paper reports the only case of post-stapedectomy granuloma tracking to the brainstem. Otalgia was present in all our cases, and may be deemed a red flag symptom of progressive bony destruction and otic capsule involvement. Although granuloma remains rare, it should be considered in any patient with worsening otological symptoms following stapes surgery.
Extensive investigation of the close association between biological diversity and environmental temperature has not yet yielded a generally accepted, empirically validated mechanism to explain latitudinal gradients of species diversity, which occur in most taxa. Using the highly resolved late Cenozoic fossil records of four major taxa of marine plankton, we show that their gradients arise as a consequence of asymmetric geographic range expansion rather than latitudinal variation in diversification rate, as commonly believed. Neither per capita speciation nor extinction rates trend significantly with temperature or latitude for these marine plankton. Species of planktonic foraminifera and calcareous nannoplankton that originate in the temperate zone preferentially spread toward and arrive earlier in the tropics to produce a normal gradient with tropical diversity peaks; by contrast, temperate-zone originating species of diatoms and radiolarians preferentially spread toward and arrive earlier in polar regions to produce reversed gradients with high-latitude diversity peaks. Our results suggest that temperature affects latitudinal diversity gradients chiefly by its effect on species’ range limits rather than on probabilities of speciation and extinction. We show that this mechanism also appears to operate in various multicellular taxa, thus providing a widely applicable explanation for the origin of latitudinal diversity gradients.
Bone-anchored hearing aids improve hearing for patients for whom conventional behind-the-ear aids are problematic. However, uptake of bone-anchored hearing aids is low and it is important to understand why this is the case.
A narrative review was conducted. Studies examining why people accept or decline bone-anchored hearing aids and satisfaction levels of people with bone-anchored hearing aids were reviewed.
Reasons for declining bone-anchored hearing aids included limited perceived benefits, concerns about surgery, aesthetic concerns and treatment cost. No studies providing in-depth analysis of the reasons for declining or accepting bone-anchored hearing aids were identified. Studies of patient satisfaction showed that most participants reported benefits with bone-anchored hearing aids. However, most studies used cross-sectional and/or retrospective designs and only included people with bone-anchored hearing aids.
Important avenues for further research are in-depth qualitative research designed to fully understand the decision-making process for bone-anchored hearing aids and rigorous quantitative research comparing satisfaction of people who receive bone-anchored hearing aids with those who receive alternative (or no) treatments.