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Global inequity in access to and availability of essential mental health services is well recognized. The mental health treatment gap is approximately 50% in all countries, with up to 90% of people in the lowest-income countries lacking access to required mental health services. Increased investment in global mental health (GMH) has increased innovation in mental health service delivery in LMICs. Situational analyses in areas where mental health services and systems are poorly developed and resourced are essential when planning for research and implementation, however, little guidance is available to inform methodological approaches to conducting these types of studies. This scoping review provides an analysis of methodological approaches to situational analysis in GMH, including an assessment of the extent to which situational analyses include equity in study designs. It is intended as a resource that identifies current gaps and areas for future development in GMH. Formative research, including situational analysis, is an essential first step in conducting robust implementation research, an essential area of study in GMH that will help to promote improved availability of, access to and reach of mental health services for people living with mental illness in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). While strong leadership in this field exists, there remain significant opportunities for enhanced research representing different LMICs and regions.
BACKGROUND: Meningiomas are the most common primary benign brain tumors in adults. Given the extended life expectancy of most meningiomas, consideration of quality of life (QOL) is important when selecting the optimal management strategy. There is currently a dearth of meningioma-specific QOL tools in the literature. OBJECTIVE: In this systematic review, we analyze the prevailing themes and propose toward building a meningioma-specific QOL assessment tool. METHODS: A systematic search was conducted, and only original studies based on adult patients were considered. QOL tools used in the various studies were analyzed for identification of prevailing themes in the qualitative analysis. The quality of the studies was also assessed. RESULTS: Sixteen articles met all inclusion criteria. Fifteen different QOL assessment tools assessed social and physical functioning, psychological, and emotional well-being. Patient perceptions and support networks had a major impact on QOL scores. Surgery negatively affected social functioning in younger patients, while radiation therapy had a variable impact. Any intervention appeared to have a greater negative impact on physical functioning compared to observation. CONCLUSION: Younger patients with meningiomas appear to be more vulnerable within social and physical functioning domains. All of these findings must be interpreted with great caution due to great clinical heterogeneity, limited generalizability, and risk of bias. For meningioma patients, the ideal QOL questionnaire would present outcomes that can be easily measured, presented, and compared across studies. Existing scales can be the foundation upon which a comprehensive, standard, and simple meningioma-specific survey can be prospectively developed and validated.
The increasing tropospheric ozone concentration [O3] strongly affects plant growth. However, the response of belowground processes in rice (Oryza sativa L.) systems to higher O3 is not well understood. The grain production, belowground biomass partitioning, root morphology and activity of rice (cv. Shanyou 63) were investigated in a free-air O3 enrichment platform at four key growth stages. Elevated O3 (EO3, 50% above the ambient O3) significantly decreased the grain yield and total biomass at the grain milky mature stage, root biomass at the tillering stage and root to shoot ratios (RRS) at the flowering and grain filling stages. The effects of EO3 on root morphology and activity varied among rice growth stage. EO3 significantly decreased root length, density, area, diameter and volume at the flowering stage, but EO3 significantly decreased various root morphological indices at the tillering, grain filling and milky mature stages. EO3 significantly increased the specific root respiration rate (root activity) and root respiration rate (autotrophic respiration) at grain filling and milky mature stages. Higher root autotrophic respiration and lower RRS in response to EO3 would reduce allocation of assimilated carbon to root growth, adversely affecting rice productivity. Our findings are critical for understanding the O3-induced impairment of belowground processes and carbon cycling in rice cropping systems and breeding of O3-tolerant cultivars under higher [O3] scenarios.
Introduction: Medical education includes a diverse range of topics and disciplines. For junior clinician educators, it may be difficult to get a grasp of pertinent literature. Our study aims to retrospectively identify whether senior clinician educators (SCEs) and junior clinician educators (JCEs) differ in their selection of what they perceive as key medical education articles. Methods: As a part of the Academic Life in Emergency Medicine (ALiEM) Faculty Incubator program, we developed a series of primer articles for JCEs over the preceding year, designed to enhance their educational growth by identifying and discussing key articles within specific medical education arenas. Each set of articles within the primer series were selected based on data collected from JCEs and SCEs, who ranked the specific articles with respect to their perceived relevancy to the JCEs. ANOVA analysis was performed for each of the nine primer series to determine whether there was a statistically significant difference between senior and junior CEs ratings of articles. Results: 216 total articles were evaluated within the nine different primer topics. Through a multilevel regression analysis of the data, no statistically significant difference was found between the rankings of papers by SCEs and JCEs (95%CI: -0.27, 0.40). However, a subgroup analysis of the data found that 3 of the 9 primers showed statistically significant divergence based on seniority (p<0.05). Conclusion: Based on this data, involvement of JCEs in the consensus-building process was important in identifying divergence in views between JCEs and SCEs in one-third of cases. To our knowledge, no other group have compared whether junior and senior clinical educators may have divergent opinions about the relevance of medical education literature. Our findings suggest that it may be important to involve JCEs in selecting articles that are worthwhile for their learning, since SCEs may not fully understand their needs.
In Hong Kong, universal varicella vaccination started in July 2014. Before this, children could receive varicella vaccine via the private market. We analysed the epidemiology of varicella and zoster before universal vaccination. We estimated varicella vaccination coverage through surveys in preschool children. We estimated the burden of varicella and zoster with varicella notifications from 1999/00 to 2013/14, Accident and Emergency Department (A&E) attendance and inpatient admissions to public hospitals from 2004/05 to 2013/14. We fitted a catalytic model to serological data on antibodies against varicella-zoster virus to estimate the force of infection. We found that varicella vaccination coverage gradually increased to about 50% before programme inception. In children younger than 5 years, the annual rate of varicella notifications, varicella admission and zoster A&E attendance generally declined. The annual notification, A&E attendance and hospitalisation rate of varicella and zoster generally increased for individuals between 10 and 59 years old. Varicella serology indicated an age shift during the study period towards a higher proportion of infections in slightly older individuals, but the change was most notable before vaccine licensure. In conclusion, we observed a shift in the burden of varicella to slightly older age groups with a corresponding increase in incidence but it cannot necessarily be attributed to private market vaccine coverage alone. Increasing varicella vaccination uptake in the private market might affect varicella transmission and epidemiology, but not to the level of interrupting transmission.
Evidence suggests that autism and schizophrenia share similarities in genetic, neuropsychological and behavioural aspects. Although both disorders are associated with theory of mind (ToM) impairments, a few studies have directly compared ToM between autism patients and schizophrenia patients. This study aimed to investigate to what extent high-functioning autism patients and schizophrenia patients share and differ in ToM performance.
Thirty high-functioning autism patients, 30 schizophrenia patients and 30 healthy individuals were recruited. Participants were matched in age, gender and estimated intelligence quotient. The verbal-based Faux Pas Task and the visual-based Yoni Task were utilised to examine first- and higher-order, affective and cognitive ToM. The task/item difficulty of two paradigms was examined using mixed model analyses of variance (ANOVAs). Multiple ANOVAs and mixed model ANOVAs were used to examine group differences in ToM.
The Faux Pas Task was more difficult than the Yoni Task. High-functioning autism patients showed more severely impaired verbal-based ToM in the Faux Pas Task, but shared similar visual-based ToM impairments in the Yoni Task with schizophrenia patients.
The findings that individuals with high-functioning autism shared similar but more severe impairments in verbal ToM than individuals with schizophrenia support the autism–schizophrenia continuum. The finding that verbal-based but not visual-based ToM was more impaired in high-functioning autism patients than schizophrenia patients could be attributable to the varied task/item difficulty between the two paradigms.
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.
During 1990 we surveyed the southern sky using a multi-beam receiver at frequencies of 4850 and 843 MHz. The half-power beamwidths were 4 and 25 arcmin respectively. The finished surveys cover the declination range between +10 and −90 degrees declination, essentially complete in right ascension, an area of 7.30 steradians. Preliminary analysis of the 4850 MHz data indicates that we will achieve a five sigma flux density limit of about 30 mJy. We estimate that we will find between 80 000 and 90 000 new sources above this limit. This is a revised version of the paper presented at the Regional Meeting by the first four authors; the surveys now have been completed.
In traditional transit timing variations (TTVs) analysis of multi-planetary systems, the individual TTVs are first derived from transit fitting and later modelled using n-body dynamic simulations to constrain planetary masses. We show that fitting simultaneously the transit light curves with the system dynamics (photo-dynamical model) increases the precision of the TTV measurements and helps constrain the system architecture. We exemplify the advantages of applying this photo-dynamical model to a multi-planetary system found in K2 data very close to 3:2 mean motion resonance, K2-19. In this case the period of the larger TTV variations (libration period) is much longer (>1.5 years) than the duration of the K2 observations (80 days). However, our method allows to detect the short period TTVs produced by the orbital conjunctions between the planets that in turn permits to uniquely characterise the system. Therefore, our method can be used to constrain the masses of near-resonant systems even when the full libration curve is not observed.
Some studies demonstrated that physical activity may have beneficial effect on cognitive function. The objective of the study was to estimate the association between physical activity and cognitive function in community-dwelling elderly Chinese in Hong Kong (HK) and Guangzhou (GZ).
In the neighborhood of HK and GZ, a convenience sample of 557 (260 in HK and 297 in GZ) older persons without dementia aged over 60 years (73.4 ± 6.5) was recruited. Physical activity was measured using a checklist. Information on physical activity participation, cognitive function, and other variables were collected. Multivariate linear regression analyses were performed to evaluate the association between physical activity and cognitive function.
Total number of physical activities showed significant association with the delayed recall test (p < 0.01) and category verbal fluency test (CVFT) (p < 0.01). However, with further adjustment for participation in intellectual activity, the coefficients were no longer statistically significant (p > 0.05)
Physical activity may not be associated with better cognitive function among elderly Chinese independently of other factors.
With the proportion of older adults in Hong Kong projected to double in size in the next 30 years, it is important to develop measures for detecting individuals in the earliest stage of Alzheimer's disease (AD, 0.5 in Clinical Dementia Rating, CDR). We tested the utility of a non-verbal prospective memory task (PM, ability to remember what one has to do when a specific event occurs in the future) as an early marker for AD in Hong Kong Chinese.
A large community dwelling sample of older adults who are healthy controls (CDR 0, N = 125), in the earliest stage of AD (CDR 0.5, N = 125), or with mild AD (CDR 1, N = 30) participated in this study. Their reaction time/accuracy data were analyzed by mixed-factor analyses of variance to compare the performance of the three CDR groups. Logistic regression analyses were performed to test the discriminative power of these measures for CDR 0 versus 0.5 participants.
Prospective memory performance declined as a function of AD severity: CDR 0 > CDR 0.5 > CDR 1, suggesting the effects of early-stage AD and AD progression on PM. After partialling out the variance explained by psychometric measures (e.g., ADAS-Cog), reaction time/accuracy measures that reflected the PM still significantly discriminated between CDR 0 versus 0.5 participants in most of the cases.
The effectiveness of PM measures in discriminating individuals in the earliest stage of AD from healthy older adults suggests that these measures should be further developed as tools for early-stage AD discrimination.
Elucidating the cognitive architecture of schizophrenia promises to advance understanding of the clinical and biological substrates of the illness. Traditional cross-sectional neuropsychological approaches differentiate impaired from normal cognitive abilities but are limited in their ability to determine latent substructure. The current study examined the latent architecture of abnormal cognition in schizophrenia via a systematic approach.
Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) were carried out on a large neuropsychological dataset including the Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia, Continuous Performance Test, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, Benton Judgment of Line Orientation Test, and Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence matrix reasoning derived from 1012 English-speaking ethnic Chinese healthy controls and 707 schizophrenia cases recruited from in- and out-patient clinics.
An initial six-factor model fit cognitive data in healthy and schizophrenia subjects. Further modeling, which accounted for methodological variance between tests, resulted in a three-factor model of executive functioning, vigilance/speed of processing and memory that appeared to best discriminate schizophrenia cases from controls. Factor analytic-derived g estimands and conventionally calculated g showed similar case–control discrimination. However, agreement analysis suggested systematic differences between both g indices.
Factor structures derived in the current study were broadly similar to those reported previously. However, factor structures between schizophrenia subjects and healthy controls were different. Roles of factor analytic-derived g estimands and conventional composite score g were further discussed. Cognitive structures underlying cognitive deficits in schizophrenia may prove useful for interrogating biological substrates and enriching effect sizes for subsequent work.
To examine the effects of complex cognitive (mahjong) and physical (Tai Chi) activities on dementia severity in nursing home residents with dementia.
Cluster-randomized open-label controlled design. 110 residents were randomized by nursing home into three conditions: mahjong, Tai Chi, and simple handicrafts (control). Activities were conducted three times a week for 12 weeks. Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) was taken at 0 (baseline), 3 (post-treatment), 6, and 9 months. The outcome measure was CDR sum-of-box, which is a composite measure of both cognitive and functional deterioration in dementia.
Intent-to-treat analyses were performed using multilevel regression models. Apolipoprotein E ε4 allele and education were included as covariates. Neither treatments had effects on the cognitive and functional components of the CDR, but mahjong had a significant interaction with time on the CDR sum-of-box total, suggesting a slower rate of global deterioration in the mahjong group as compared with the control group.
Mahjong led to a gradual improvement in global functioning and a slightly slower rate of dementia progression over time. The effect was generalized and was not specific to cognition or daily functioning.
Metal-assisted chemical etching (MACE) of silicon (Si) is a simple and low-cost process to fabricate Si nanostructures with varying aspect ratio and properties. In this work, we report on the structural and vibrational properties of Si nanostructures synthesized with varying metal catalyst. The morphology of the synthesized nanowires was characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The optical and vibrational properties of the Si nanostructures were studied by photoluminescence and Raman spectroscopy using three different excitation sources (UV, visible and near-infrared) and are correlated to their microstructures. We propose that the excessive injection of holes into Si at the metal-Si interface and its diffusion to the nanowire surfaces facilitate the etching of Si on these surfaces, leading to a mesoporous network of Si nanocrystallites. When etched with catalytic Au nanoparticles, “hay-stacked” mesoporous Si nanowires were obtained. The straighter nanowires etched with Ag nanoparticles, consisted of a single crystalline core with a thin porous layer that decreased in thickness towards the base of the nanowire. This difference is due to the higher catalytic activity of Au compared to Ag for H2O2 decomposition. The SERRS observed during UV and visible Raman with Ag-etched Si nanowires and near-infrared Raman with Au-etched Si nanowires is due to the presence of the sunken metal nanoparticles. In addition, we explored the influence of varying H2O2 and HF concentration as well as the influence of increased etching temperature on the resultant nanostructured Si morphology. Such Si nanostructures may be useful for a wide range of applications such as photovoltaic and biological and chemical sensing.