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The role of international organisations in international law-making tends to be downplayed in this largely State-centric world. The practice of UNHCR, however, is reason enough for a more sophisticated appreciation of the role that operational entities can play in stimulating State practice, and of how they may interact with and guide domestic courts in treaty interpretation and application. The ILC's recently completed projects on customary international law and subsequent agreements and practice encourage a cautious approach, but the high degree of judicialisation in refugee decision-making, the strong legal content in the international protection regime and the impact of UNHCR's operational activities open the way for institutional and grass-roots developments, keeping the law in closer touch with social and political realities and with the needs of those displaced.
Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections are a significant public health issue, with foodborne transmission causing >1 million illnesses worldwide each year. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis (PROSPERO registry # CRD42017074239), to determine the relative association of different food types with sporadic illnesses caused by STEC. Searches were conducted from 01 August to 30 September 2017, using bibliographic and grey literature databases, websites and expert consultation. We identified 22 case-control studies of sporadic STEC infection in humans, from 10 countries within four World Health Organization subregions, from 1985 to 2012. We extracted data from 21 studies, for 237 individual measures in 11 food categories and across three status types (raw or undercooked, not raw and unknown). Beef was the most significant food item associated with STEC illness in the Americas and Europe, but in the Western Pacific region, chicken was most significant. These findings were not significantly moderated by the raw or cooked status of the food item, nor the publication year of the study. Data from the African, South-East Asian and Eastern Mediterranean subregions were lacking and it is unclear whether our results are relevant to these regions.
Background: In Alberta in 2016 more people died from an opioid overdose than from motor vehicle crashes. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist - it can reverse an opioid overdose for a period of 30 to 60 minutes. Naloxone kits are available free at emergency departments and community organizations around the province with training provided at the point of pickup. It is possible that training may be refused or may be forgotten and people are often left to rely solely on the instructions included in the kit. Human centred design can improve the way people interact with overdose instructions. Aim Statement: This study will measure the effectiveness and usefulness of prototype community naloxone kit instructions over a six month period of time (2018) in Calgary and Edmonton with the aim to use human centred design principles to improve the way people interpret emergency overdose response directions. Measures & Design: Information design experts engaged people with lived experience to provide a process map outlining the current role that educational materials and instructions for community naloxone kits play in responding to an opioid overdose. Alberta Health Services (AHS) Human Factors, in collaboration with AHS harm reduction developed the protocol and administered pre- and post-questionnaire and specific ‘performance checkpoints’ intended to measure effectiveness and usefulness. A simulated overdose including a mannequin, injection trainer and anatomical paper diagram was designed and a community naloxone kit with instructions setting was provided. Participants were recruited through harm reduction nurses with pre-existing clinical relationships (experienced group), family and friends of people who use opioids and general public (non-experienced) through the University of Alberta Faculty of Art and Design. Evaluation/Results: A total of 30 voluntary participants provided their informed consent and engaged in a simulated overdose scenario using a set of prototype instructions developed by a professional information designer. Through repeated data sampling, the following points were observed and will be integrated in the next iteration of design: It isn't clear to people what opioids are. It isn't clear to people that giving a dose of naloxone will not harm a person, especially if they have not overdosed. Almost none of the participants called 911. People seem to read pictures and text equally in the non-experienced group, but in the experienced group, typically read the pictures. Many participants stated that they knew how to do rescue breaths, but did not perform them correctly. Performing the procedure is a not the same as being asked about how to perform the procedure. Discussion/Impact: Even with new instructional prototypes, many participants identified components that were unclear or confusing. The experienced group made less mistakes than the non-experienced group. They seemed to be more invested or interested in saving a friend's life. These instructions will go through another round of design to incorporate feedback from end users. The final product will be part of a larger provincial emergency medicine initiative that includes participant led design and education around emergency response in opioid overdose settings.
Background Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is among the most common psychiatric disorders of childhood that often persists into adulthood and old age. Yet ADHD is currently underdiagnosed and undertreated in many European countries, leading to chronicity of symptoms and impairment, due to lack of, or ineffective treatment, and higher costs of illness.
Methods The European Network Adult ADHD and the Section for Neurodevelopmental Disorders Across the Lifespan (NDAL) of the European Psychiatric Association (EPA), aim to increase awareness and knowledge of adult ADHD in and outside Europe. This Updated European Consensus Statement aims to support clinicians with research evidence and clinical experience from 63 experts of European and other countries in which ADHD in adults is recognized and treated.
Results Besides reviewing the latest research on prevalence, persistence, genetics and neurobiology of ADHD, three major questions are addressed: (1) What is the clinical picture of ADHD in adults? (2) How should ADHD be properly diagnosed in adults? (3) How should adult ADHDbe effectively treated?
Conclusions ADHD often presents as a lifelong impairing condition. The stigma surrounding ADHD, mainly due to lack of knowledge, increases the suffering of patients. Education on the lifespan perspective, diagnostic assessment, and treatment of ADHD must increase for students of general and mental health, and for psychiatry professionals. Instruments for screening and diagnosis of ADHD in adults are available, as are effective evidence-based treatments for ADHD and its negative outcomes. More research is needed on gender differences, and in older adults with ADHD.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: To build a multisite de-identified database of female adolescents, aged 12–21 years (January 2011–December 2012), and their subsequent offspring through 24 months of age from electronic health records (EHRs) provided by participating Community Health. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: We created a community-academic partnership that included New York City Community Health Centers (n=4) and Hospitals (n=4), The Rockefeller University, The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science and Clinical Directors Network (CDN). We used the Community-Engaged Research Navigation model to establish a multisite de-identified database extracted from EHRs of female adolescents aged 12–21 years (January 2011–December 2012) and their offspring through 24 months of age. These patients received their primary care between 2011 and 2015. Clinical data were used to explore possible associations among specific measures. We focused on the preconception, prenatal, postnatal periods, including pediatric visits up to 24 months of age. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: The analysis included all female adolescents (n=122,556) and a subset of pregnant adolescents with offspring data available (n=2917). Patients were mostly from the Bronx; 43% of all adolescent females were overweight (22%) or obese (21%) and showed higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure, blood glucose levels, hemoglobin A1c, total cholesterol, and triglycerides levels compared with normal-weight adolescent females (p<0.05). This analysis was also performed looking at the nonpregnant females and the pregnant females separately. Overall, the pregnant females were older (mean age=18.3) compared with the nonpregnant females (mean age=16.5), there was a higher percentage of Hispanics among the pregnant females (58%) compared with the nonpregnant females (43.9%). There was a statistically significant association between the BMI status of mothers and infants’ birth weight, with underweight/normal-weight mothers having more low birth weight (LBW) babies and overweight/obese mothers having more large babies. The odds of having a LBW baby was 0.61 (95% CI: 0.41, 0.89) lower in obese compared with normal-weight adolescent mothers. The risk of having a preterm birth before 37 weeks was found to be neutral in obese compared with normal-weight adolescent mothers (OR=0.81, 95% CI: 0.53, 1.25). Preliminary associations are similar to those reported in the published literature. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: This EHR database uses available measures from routine clinical care as a “rapid assay” to explore potential associations, and may be more useful to detect the presence and direction of associations than the magnitude of effects. This partnership has engaged community clinicians, laboratory, and clinical investigators, and funders in study design and analysis, as demonstrated by the collaborative development and testing of hypotheses relevant to service delivery. Furthermore, this research and learning collaborative is examining strategies to enhance clinical workflow and data quality as well as underlying biological mechanisms. The feasibility of scaling-up these methods facilitates studying similar populations in different Health Systems, advancing point-of-care studies of natural history and comparative effectiveness research to identify service gaps, evaluate effective interventions, and enhance clinical and data quality improvement.
A nonparaxial investigation for propagation characteristics of q-Gaussian laser beam in rippled density plasma is studied by considering the relativistic nonlinearity. The field distribution in the medium is expressed in terms of q parameter and beam width parameter f. Nonlinear parabolic partial differential equation governing the evolution of complex envelope in slowly varying approximation is solved in a modulated density profile. Analytical theory of self-focusing including higher order terms in the expansion of dielectric function up to fourth order is developed and the variation of beam width parameter f with the distance of propagation for different parameters is studied. One may note that increased value of density ripple, laser intensity and depth of modulation, increases self-focusing whereas a lower value of q shows strong self-focusing. A comparative study between paraxial and nonparaxial study has also conducted. This study is useful for research in high energy density physics.
Common cottonwood-based agroforestry system is widely adopted in Indian Indo-Gangetic plains. The stem cuttings of common cottonwood are raised in a nursery 10 to 12 months in rows spaced 0.5 mx0.5 m, before re-planting in the field. The longer duration of 10 to 12 months and wider spacing of stem cuttings in the nursery makes the entire transplants highly vulnerable to weed competition, especially during early establishment stages. The efficacy of preemergence herbicides and plastic and straw mulches for weed management in common cottonwood nursery was investigated at two sites in years 2014 and 2015. The major weed flora in the experimental field consisted of three grass weeds (crowfootgrass, feather lovegrass, and southern crabgrass), and four broadleaf weeds (scarlet pimpernel, garden spurge, niruri, and lesser swinecress). The integrated use of pendimethalin or alachlor applied PRE with paddy straw mulch significantly reduced density and biomass of both grass and broadleaf weeds compared to herbicide or straw mulch used alone, and provided similar level of weed control to hand weeding at both locations. Spreading of plastic mulch in the whole field after punching holes for common cottonwood stem cuttings, or in row spaces recorded similar weed control to hand-weeding. The integrated use of herbicides with straw mulch, and or plastic mulch alone significantly improved plant height, stem diameter, below- and above-ground biomass of common cottonwood plants compared to unweeded check. The study concluded that integrated use of herbicides plus paddy straw mulch or plastic mulch alone could be adopted for weed management in common cottonwood nursery plantations.
The longstanding association between the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) locus and schizophrenia (SZ) risk has recently been accounted for, partially, by structural variation at the complement component 4 (C4) gene. This structural variation generates varying levels of C4 RNA expression, and genetic information from the MHC region can now be used to predict C4 RNA expression in the brain. Increased predicted C4A RNA expression is associated with the risk of SZ, and C4 is reported to influence synaptic pruning in animal models.
Based on our previous studies associating MHC SZ risk variants with poorer memory performance, we tested whether increased predicted C4A RNA expression was associated with reduced memory function in a large (n = 1238) dataset of psychosis cases and healthy participants, and with altered task-dependent cortical activation in a subset of these samples.
We observed that increased predicted C4A RNA expression predicted poorer performance on measures of memory recall (p = 0.016, corrected). Furthermore, in healthy participants, we found that increased predicted C4A RNA expression was associated with a pattern of reduced cortical activity in middle temporal cortex during a measure of visual processing (p < 0.05, corrected).
These data suggest that the effects of C4 on cognition were observable at both a cortical and behavioural level, and may represent one mechanism by which illness risk is mediated. As such, deficits in learning and memory may represent a therapeutic target for new molecular developments aimed at altering C4’s developmental role.
The pulsar’s signal passes through the interstellar medium (ISM) which leads to both chromatic dispersive delays and multipath pulse broadening. These effects have a strong frequency dependence (f−2 and f−4 respectively). Pulse profiles of pulsars are also frequency-dependent leading to some degeneracy with the ISM imprint. Furthermore, many pulsars show a turnover of their spectrum around ~100 MHz. For all these reasons, the frequency band below 100 MHz contains a lot of information about both the pulsar emission and the ISM. Our study is based on a LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR) monitoring campaign using the international station FR606. Firstly, we demonstrate the importance of a monitoring campaign. Secondly, we calculate median spectra and locate the turnover frequency for 3 pulsars (B0809+74, B1133+16, B1508+55).
Since the discovery of the first pulsar in 1967, over 2500 pulsars have been discovered. Pulsars enable a broad range of studies: from the study of the properties of the interstellar medium and of pulsar magnetospheres to tests of gravity in the strong-field regime and the characterisation of the cosmological gravitation wave background. These reasons are the main drive for searching for more pulsars. A blind pulsar survey, named SPAN512, was initiated with the Nançay Radio Telescope in 2012. Conducted at 1.4 GHz with a sampling time of 64μs and 500-kHz frequency channels, SPAN512 was designed to search for fast and distant pulsars in the Galactic plane. Here we describe the current status of the survey and present the latest discovery, PSR J2055+3829, a 2.08-ms pulsar in a black widow system.
International LOFAR stations, equipped with powerful backends, can be used as individual telescopes, and provide data sets complementary to those obtained with the LOFAR Core. Such “local mode” observations are particularly adapted to monitoring observations, where the advantage of having a high observing cadence (one observation per week) outweighs the reduced sensitivity of a single station when compared to the full array. With such observations, it is possible to monitor the temporal evolution of the pulsars’ behaviour via its dispersion, scattering, intensity, and profile shape. We present recent studies performed in the LOFAR low band (10-90 MHz).
Fetal growth restriction (FGR) and preterm birth are frequent co-morbidities, both are independent risks for brain injury. However, few studies have examined the mechanisms by which preterm FGR increases the risk of adverse neurological outcomes. We aimed to determine the effects of prematurity and mechanical ventilation (VENT) on the brain of FGR and appropriately grown (AG, control) lambs. We hypothesized that FGR preterm lambs are more vulnerable to ventilation-induced acute brain injury. FGR was surgically induced in fetal sheep (0.7 gestation) by ligation of a single umbilical artery. After 4 weeks, preterm lambs were euthanized at delivery or delivered and ventilated for 2 h before euthanasia. Brains and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) were collected for analysis of molecular and structural indices of early brain injury. FGRVENT lambs had increased oxidative cell damage and brain injury marker S100B levels compared with all other groups. Mechanical ventilation increased inflammatory marker IL-8 within the brain of FGRVENT and AGVENT lambs. Abnormalities in the neurovascular unit and increased blood–brain barrier permeability were observed in FGRVENT lambs, as well as an altered density of vascular tight junctions markers. FGR and AG preterm lambs have different responses to acute injurious mechanical ventilation, changes which appear to have been developmentally programmed in utero.
Policy-makers and practitioners have a need to assess community resilience in disasters. Prior efforts conflated resilience with community functioning, combined resistance and recovery (the components of resilience), and relied on a static model for what is inherently a dynamic process. We sought to develop linked conceptual and computational models of community functioning and resilience after a disaster.
We developed a system dynamics computational model that predicts community functioning after a disaster. The computational model outputted the time course of community functioning before, during, and after a disaster, which was used to calculate resistance, recovery, and resilience for all US counties.
The conceptual model explicitly separated resilience from community functioning and identified all key components for each, which were translated into a system dynamics computational model with connections and feedbacks. The components were represented by publicly available measures at the county level. Baseline community functioning, resistance, recovery, and resilience evidenced a range of values and geographic clustering, consistent with hypotheses based on the disaster literature.
The work is transparent, motivates ongoing refinements, and identifies areas for improved measurements. After validation, such a model can be used to identify effective investments to enhance community resilience. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:127–137)
Our understanding of the complex relationship between schizophrenia symptomatology and etiological factors can be improved by studying brain-based correlates of schizophrenia. Research showed that impairments in value processing and executive functioning, which have been associated with prefrontal brain areas [particularly the medial orbitofrontal cortex (MOFC)], are linked to negative symptoms. Here we tested the hypothesis that MOFC thickness is associated with negative symptom severity.
This study included 1985 individuals with schizophrenia from 17 research groups around the world contributing to the ENIGMA Schizophrenia Working Group. Cortical thickness values were obtained from T1-weighted structural brain scans using FreeSurfer. A meta-analysis across sites was conducted over effect sizes from a model predicting cortical thickness by negative symptom score (harmonized Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms or Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale scores).
Meta-analytical results showed that left, but not right, MOFC thickness was significantly associated with negative symptom severity (βstd = −0.075; p = 0.019) after accounting for age, gender, and site. This effect remained significant (p = 0.036) in a model including overall illness severity. Covarying for duration of illness, age of onset, antipsychotic medication or handedness weakened the association of negative symptoms with left MOFC thickness. As part of a secondary analysis including 10 other prefrontal regions further associations in the left lateral orbitofrontal gyrus and pars opercularis emerged.
Using an unusually large cohort and a meta-analytical approach, our findings point towards a link between prefrontal thinning and negative symptom severity in schizophrenia. This finding provides further insight into the relationship between structural brain abnormalities and negative symptoms in schizophrenia.
Waardenburg syndrome (WS) is a rare genetic disorder characterised by varying degrees of sensorineural deafness, dystopia canthorum, musculokeletal defects, pigmentation anomalies such as bright blue iris, greying hair and in some cases intestinal pathology.
A 21-year-old Chinese gentleman, diagnosed with WS type 1 (Figs. 1 and 2) at the age of two, presented at the emergency unit with manic symptoms for the past one month such as irritability, grandiosity, flight of ideas and reduced need for sleep. With regards to social integration, he had features suggestive of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). He often played by himself and was fixated on particular toys. He was eventually admitted to the psychiatric ward for acute management of mania. He was stabilised on olanzapine 10 mg BD and sodium valproate 600 mg BD. His sodium valproate was cross-titrated with lithium in the ward and his manic features gradually subsided. He was discharged well after 2 weeks of admission with lithium 300 mg BD and olanzapine 10 mg BD. WS type 1 has been localised to the locus 2q35 and researchers have identified that a tetranucleotide repeat marker on 2q35 is strongly associated with recurrent mood symptoms.
In conclusion, it is important to note that individuals with WS may be at higher risk to develop ASD and mood disorders.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
DSM-5 proposes an Attenuated Psychosis Syndrome (APS) for further investigation, based upon the Attenuated Positive Symptom Syndrome (APSS) in the Structured Interview for Psychosis-Risk Syndromes (SIPS). SIPS Unusual Thought Content, Disorganized Communication and Total Disorganization scores predicted progression to psychosis in a 2015 NAPLS-2 Consortium report. We sought to independently replicate this in a large single-site high-risk cohort, and identify baseline demographic and clinical predictors beyond current APS/APSS criteria.
We prospectively studied 200 participants meeting criteria for both the SIPS APSS and DSM-5 APS. SIPS scores, demographics, family history of psychosis, DSM Axis-I diagnoses, schizotypy, and social and role functioning were assessed at baseline, with follow-up every 3 months for 2 years.
The conversion rate was 30% (n = 60), or 37.7% excluding participants who were followed under 2 years. This rate was stable across time. Conversion time averaged 7.97 months for 60% who developed schizophrenia and 15.68 for other psychoses. Mean conversion age was 20.3 for males and 23.5 for females. Attenuated odd ideas and thought disorder appear to be the positive symptoms which best predict psychosis in a logistic regression. Total negative symptom score, Asian/Pacific Islander and Black/African-American race were also predictive. As no Axis-I diagnosis or schizotypy predicted conversion, the APS is supported as a distinct syndrome. In addition, cannabis use disorder did not increase risk of conversion to psychosis.
NAPLS SIPS findings were replicated while controlling for clinical and demographic factors, strongly supporting the validity of the SIPS APSS and DSM-5 APS diagnosis.
The Numeniini is a tribe of 13 wader species (Scolopacidae, Charadriiformes) of which seven are Near Threatened or globally threatened, including two Critically Endangered. To help inform conservation management and policy responses, we present the results of an expert assessment of the threats that members of this taxonomic group face across migratory flyways. Most threats are increasing in intensity, particularly in non-breeding areas, where habitat loss resulting from residential and commercial development, aquaculture, mining, transport, disturbance, problematic invasive species, pollution and climate change were regarded as having the greatest detrimental impact. Fewer threats (mining, disturbance, problematic native species and climate change) were identified as widely affecting breeding areas. Numeniini populations face the greatest number of non-breeding threats in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, especially those associated with coastal reclamation; related threats were also identified across the Central and Atlantic Americas, and East Atlantic flyways. Threats on the breeding grounds were greatest in Central and Atlantic Americas, East Atlantic and West Asian flyways. Three priority actions were associated with monitoring and research: to monitor breeding population trends (which for species breeding in remote areas may best be achieved through surveys at key non-breeding sites), to deploy tracking technologies to identify migratory connectivity, and to monitor land-cover change across breeding and non-breeding areas. Two priority actions were focused on conservation and policy responses: to identify and effectively protect key non-breeding sites across all flyways (particularly in the East Asian- Australasian Flyway), and to implement successful conservation interventions at a sufficient scale across human-dominated landscapes for species’ recovery to be achieved. If implemented urgently, these measures in combination have the potential to alter the current population declines of many Numeniini species and provide a template for the conservation of other groups of threatened species.