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Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for men who have sex with men (MSM) in many countries, but information on vaccine coverage is scarce. We studied hepatitis B vaccination programmes and coverage among MSM in Europe to guide prevention. From a large (N = 174 209) pan-European MSM survey (EMIS-2010), we used data on self-reported hepatitis B vaccination, age, education, settlement size and disclosure of the same-sex sexual orientation (‘outness’). We excluded participants with a history of hepatitis B. In multilevel (participants, countries) logistic regression models, we calculated adjusted odds ratios (aOR) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). We analysed data of 163 987 MSM in 38 European countries: 38.3% were ‘out’ to all or almost all, 56.4% reported vaccination against hepatitis B and 65.5% lived in countries with free recommended hepatitis B vaccination for MSM. In the final model the odds for being vaccinated increased with outness (‘out to all or almost all’: aOR 1.76, 95% CI 1.70–1.83 vs. ‘out to no one’) and with living in countries, where hepatitis B vaccination was recommended and free-of-charge for MSM (aOR 2.21, 95% CI 1.47–3.32 vs. ‘no or unclear recommendation’). To increase hepatitis B vaccination coverage among MSM, implementation of MSM-specific recommendations and improvement of the societal climate for MSM is needed.
Positive symptoms are a useful predictor of aggression in schizophrenia. Although a similar pattern of abnormal brain structures related to both positive symptoms and aggression has been reported, this observation has not yet been confirmed in a single sample.
To study the association between positive symptoms and aggression in schizophrenia on a neurobiological level, a prospective meta-analytic approach was employed to analyze harmonized structural neuroimaging data from 10 research centers worldwide. We analyzed brain MRI scans from 902 individuals with a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia and 952 healthy controls.
The result identified a widespread cortical thickness reduction in schizophrenia compared to their controls. Two separate meta-regression analyses revealed that a common pattern of reduced cortical gray matter thickness within the left lateral temporal lobe and right midcingulate cortex was significantly associated with both positive symptoms and aggression.
These findings suggested that positive symptoms such as formal thought disorder and auditory misperception, combined with cognitive impairments reflecting difficulties in deploying an adaptive control toward perceived threats, could escalate the likelihood of aggression in schizophrenia.
In Canada, recreational use of cannabis was legalized in October 2018. This policy change along with recent publications evaluating the efficacy of cannabis for the medical treatment of epilepsy and media awareness about its use have increased the public interest about this agent. The Canadian League Against Epilepsy Medical Therapeutics Committee, along with a multidisciplinary group of experts and Canadian Epilepsy Alliance representatives, has developed a position statement about the use of medical cannabis for epilepsy. This article addresses the current Canadian legal framework, recent publications about its efficacy and safety profile, and our understanding of the clinical issues that should be considered when contemplating cannabis use for medical purposes.
The anti-leishmania effects of HIV peptidase inhibitors (PIs) have been widely reported; however, the biochemical target and mode of action are still a matter of controversy in Leishmania parasites. Considering the possibility that HIV-PIs induce lipid accumulation in Leishmania amazonensis, we analysed the effects of lopinavir on the lipid metabolism of L. amazonensis promastigotes. To this end, parasites were treated with lopinavir at different concentrations and analysed by fluorescence microscopy and spectrofluorimetry, using a fluorescent lipophilic marker. Then, the cellular ultrastructure of treated and control parasites was analysed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and the lipid composition was investigated by thin-layer chromatography (TLC). Finally, the sterol content was assayed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC/MS). TEM analysis revealed an increased number of lipid inclusions in lopinavir-treated cells, which was accompanied by an increase in the lipophilic content, in a dose-dependent manner. TLC and GC–MS analysis revealed a marked increase of cholesterol-esters and cholesterol. In conclusion, lopinavir-induced lipid accumulation and affected lipid composition in L. amazonensis in a concentration–response manner. These data contribute to a better understanding of the possible mechanisms of action of this HIV-PI in L. amazonensis promastigotes. The concerted action of lopinavir on this and other cellular processes, such as the direct inhibition of an aspartyl peptidase, may be responsible for the arrested development of the parasite.
Machine learning techniques have proven to be increasingly useful in astronomical applications over the last few years, for example in object classification, estimating redshifts and data mining. One example of object classification is classifying galaxy morphology. This is a tedious task to do manually, especially as the datasets become larger with surveys that have a broader and deeper search-space. The Kaggle Galaxy Zoo competition presented the challenge of writing an algorithm to find the probability that a galaxy belongs in a particular class, based on SDSS optical spectroscopy data. The use of convolutional neural networks (convnets), proved to be a popular solution to the problem, as they have also produced unprecedented classification accuracies in other image databases such as the database of handwritten digits (MNIST †) and large database of images (CIFAR ‡). We experiment with the convnets that comprised the winning solution, but using broad classifications. The effect of changing the number of layers is explored, as well as using a different activation function, to help in developing an intuition of how the networks function and to see how they can be applied to radio galaxy images.
Most research on interventions to counter stigma and discrimination has
focused on short-term outcomes and has been conducted in high-income
To synthesise what is known globally about effective interventions to
reduce mental illness-based stigma and discrimination, in relation first
to effectiveness in the medium and long term (minimum 4 weeks), and
second to interventions in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
We searched six databases from 1980 to 2013 and conducted a
multi-language Google search for quantitative studies addressing the
research questions. Effect sizes were calculated from eligible studies
where possible, and narrative syntheses conducted. Subgroup analysis
compared interventions with and without social contact.
Eighty studies (n = 422 653) were included in the
review. For studies with medium or long-term follow-up (72, of which 21
had calculable effect sizes) median standardised mean differences were
0.54 for knowledge and −0.26 for stigmatising attitudes. Those containing
social contact (direct or indirect) were not more effective than those
without. The 11 LMIC studies were all from middle-income countries.
Effect sizes were rarely calculable for behavioural outcomes or in LMIC
There is modest evidence for the effectiveness of anti-stigma
interventions beyond 4 weeks follow-up in terms of increasing knowledge
and reducing stigmatising attitudes. Evidence does not support the view
that social contact is the more effective type of intervention for
improving attitudes in the medium to long term. Methodologically strong
research is needed on which to base decisions on investment in
We have mapped cold atomic gas in 21cm line H i self-absorption (HISA) at arcminute resolution over more than 90% of the Milky Way's disk. To probe the formation of H2 clouds, we have compared our HISA distribution with CO J = 1-0 line emission. Few HISA features in the outer Galaxy have CO at the same position and velocity, while most inner-Galaxy HISA has overlapping CO. But many apparent inner-Galaxy HISA-CO associations can be explained as chance superpositions, so most inner-Galaxy HISA may also be CO-free. Since standard equilibrium cloud models cannot explain the very cold H i in many HISA features without molecules being present, these clouds may instead have significant CO-dark H2.
We assessed for vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA) precursor organisms in southeastern Michigan, an area known to have VRSA. The prevalence was 2.5% (pSK41-positive methicillin-resistant S. aureus, 2009–2011) and 1.5% (Inc18-positive vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus, 2006–2013); Inc18 prevalence significantly decreased after 2009 (3.7% to 0.82%). Risk factors for pSK41 included intravenous vancomycin exposure.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2014;35(12):1531–1534
This study is a randomized, prospective, investigation of the relationships between clinical trial design, patient expectancy and the outcome of treatment with antidepressant medication.
Adult out-patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) were randomized to either placebo-controlled (PC, 50% probability of receiving active medication) or comparator (COMP, 100% probability of receiving active medication) administration of antidepressant medication. Independent-samples t tests and analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) were used to determine whether the probability of receiving active medication influenced patient expectancy and to compare medication response in the PC v. COMP conditions. We also tested the correlations between baseline expectancy score and final improvement in depressive symptoms across study groups.
Subjects randomized to the COMP condition reported greater expectancy of improvement compared to subjects in the PC condition (t = 2.60, df = 27, p = 0.015). There were no statistically significant differences in the analyses comparing antidepressant outcomes between subjects receiving medication in the COMP condition and those receiving medication in the PC condition. Higher baseline expectancy of improvement was correlated with lower final depression severity scores (r = 0.53, p = 0.021) and greater improvement in depressive symptoms over the course of the study (r = 0.44, p = 0.058).
The methods described represent a promising way of subjecting patient expectancy to scientific study. Expectancy of improvement is affected by the probability of receiving active antidepressant medication and seems to influence antidepressant response.
Intermetallic TiAl alloys are of interest to the aero engine industry because of their light weight, corrosion resistance and excellent high temperature strength. This justifies the continued effort to improve properties and processing of these alloys.
A critical parameter that limits the practical implementation of Ti aluminides is their low ductility at room temperature. Recently, a new class of TiAl alloys based on a modulated lath structure has been introduced that exhibit an excellent combination of ductility and strength. A key component in this alloy is the orthorhombic phase B19 that is attributed to alloying with high amounts of niobium. The driving forces and mechanisms that lead to the observed modulated structures involving the B19 phase are not fully understood yet. As a first step to a better understanding we present a study of the thermal stability range of the phases involved.
Over the last 25 years, progress in the field of assisted reproduction has paralleled that in ultrasonography. Normal fallopian tubes are not usually seen by ultrasound, though it is sometimes possible to visualize the fimbrial end within fluid in the pouch of Douglas. The ovaries are usually seen lateral to the uterus, in close relationship to the internal iliac vessels. They can be identified by their echogenic stroma and sonolucent follicles. A variety of ovarian reserve tests are used in routine clinical practice to assess a woman's ovarian performance prior to controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH) for in vitro fertilization (IVF). Transvaginal ultrasound-guided aspiration of ovarian follicles provides a safe and effective means of oocyte retrieval. Embryo transfer is a crucial step of IVF treatment. Ultrasound is a cornerstone of prevention and diagnosis of potential IVF complications such as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) and multiple pregnancies.