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Across a broad range of fields in political science, there are many theoretically interesting dependent variables that can be characterized as compositions. We build on recent work that has developed strategies for modeling variation in such variables over time by extending them to models of time series cross-sectional data. We discuss how researchers can incorporate the influence of contextual variables and spatial relationships into such models. To demonstrate the utility of our proposed strategies, we present a methodological illustration using an analysis of budgetary expenditures in the US states.
Anthrax is still a severe public health problem and threat to human health. A cutaneous anthrax outbreak occurred in Jiangsu Province, a non-endemic anthrax region of eastern China, from July to August 2012. Epidemiological and laboratory investigation were initiated to trace the source of infection and identify the risk factors of the outbreak. On 25 July 2012, 17 persons were exposed to a sick cow, which had been imported from northeast China a few days previously. Of the 17 exposed, eight developed symptoms between 1 and 8 days and were diagnosed as cutaneous anthrax cases. Three main genes of Bacillus anthracis were detected from both human and cow meat samples, indicating that the outbreak was associated with this infected cow. A retrospective cohort study showed that contact with blood and presence of skin damage contributed to the case infection with B. anthracis. The outbreak highlights the need to enhance quarantine for imported livestock, which should have been vaccinated prior to importation, the significance of education for high-risk individuals, and training for primary healthcare workers even in anthrax-free areas.
Accurate and complete reporting of study methods, results and interpretation are essential components for any scientific process, allowing end-users to evaluate the internal and external validity of a study. When animals are used in research, excellence in reporting is expected as a matter of continued ethical acceptability of animal use in the sciences. Our primary objective was to assess completeness of reporting for a series of studies relevant to mitigation of pain in neonatal piglets undergoing routine management procedures. Our second objective was to illustrate how authors can report the items in the Reporting guidElines For randomized controLled trials for livEstoCk and food safety (REFLECT) statement using examples from the animal welfare science literature. A total of 52 studies from 40 articles were evaluated using a modified REFLECT statement. No single study reported all REFLECT checklist items. Seven studies reported specific objectives with testable hypotheses. Six studies identified primary or secondary outcomes. Randomization and blinding were considered to be partially reported in 21 and 18 studies, respectively. No studies reported the rationale for sample sizes. Several studies failed to report key design features such as units for measurement, means, standard deviations, standard errors for continuous outcomes or comparative characteristics for categorical outcomes expressed as either rates or proportions. In the discipline of animal welfare science, authors, reviewers and editors are encouraged to use available reporting guidelines to ensure that scientific methods and results are adequately described and free of misrepresentations and inaccuracies. Complete and accurate reporting increases the ability to apply the results of studies to the decision-making process and prevent wastage of financial and animal resources.
To limit tail biting incidence, most pig producers in Europe tail dock their piglets. This is despite EU Council Directive 2008/120/EC banning routine tail docking and allowing it only as a last resort. The paper aims to understand what it takes to fulfil the intentions of the Directive by examining economic results of four management and housing scenarios, and by discussing their consequences for animal welfare in the light of legal and ethical considerations. The four scenarios compared are: ‘Standard Docked’, a conventional housing scenario with tail docking meeting the recommendations for Danish production (0.7 m2/pig); ‘Standard Undocked’, which is the same as ‘Standard Docked’ but with no tail docking, ‘Efficient Undocked’ and ‘Enhanced Undocked’, which have increased solid floor area (0.9 and 1.0 m2/pig, respectively) provision of loose manipulable materials (100 and 200 g/straw per pig per day) and no tail docking. A decision tree model based on data from Danish and Finnish pig production suggests that Standard Docked provides the highest economic gross margin with the least tail biting. Given our assumptions, Enhanced Undocked is the least economic, although Efficient Undocked is better economically and both result in a lower incidence of tail biting than Standard Undocked but higher than Standard Docked. For a pig, being bitten is worse for welfare (repeated pain, risk of infections) than being docked, but to compare welfare consequences at a farm level means considering the number of affected pigs. Because of the high levels of biting in Standard Undocked, it has on average inferior welfare to Standard Docked, whereas the comparison of Standard Docked and Enhanced (or Efficient) Undocked is more difficult. In Enhanced (or Efficient) Undocked, more pigs than in Standard Docked suffer from being tail bitten, whereas all the pigs avoid the acute pain of docking endured by the pigs in Standard Docked. We illustrate and discuss this ethical balance using numbers derived from the above-mentioned data. We discuss our results in the light of the EU Directive and its adoption and enforcement by Member States. Widespread use of tail docking seems to be accepted, mainly because the alternative steps that producers are required to take before resorting to it are not specified in detail. By tail docking, producers are acting in their own best interests. We suggest that for the practice of tail docking to be terminated in a way that benefits animal welfare, changes in the way pigs are housed and managed may first be required.
This study examined the temporal and spatial patterns of diarrhoea in relation to hydro-meteorological factors in the Mekong Delta area in Vietnam. A time-series design was applied to examine the temporal pattern of the climate–diarrhoea relationship using Poisson regression models. Spatial analysis was applied to examine the spatial clusters of diarrhoea using Global Moran's I and local indicators of spatial autocorrelation (LISA). The temporal pattern showed that the highest peak of diarrhoea was from weeks 30–42 corresponding to August–October annually. A 1 cm increase in river water level at a lag of 1 week was associated with a small [0·07%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0·01–0·1] increase in the diarrhoeal rate. A 1 °C increase in temperature at lag of 2 and 4 weeks was associated with a 1·5% (95% CI 0·3−2·7) and 1·1% (95% CI 0·1−2·3) increase in diarrhoeal risk, respectively. Relative humidity and diarrhoeal risk were in nonlinear relationship. The spatial analysis showed significant clustering of diarrhoea, and the LISA map shows three multi-centred diarrhoeal clusters and three single-centred clusters in the research location. The findings suggest that climatic conditions projected to be associated with climate change have important implication for human health impact in the Mekong Delta region.
To present the first report of a giant frontal sinus osteoma treated by excision and single-stage reconstruction with custom-made titanium cranioplasty and left orbital roof prostheses.
A 31-year-old man with a history of chronic frontal sinusitis presented with a deforming, painless, midline forehead swelling of 11 years' duration, which had been treated unsuccessfully in Nigeria. Differential diagnosis included both benign and malignant bony tumours. Computerised tomography revealed a giant bony frontal sinus tumour extending beyond the sinus roof and breaching the left orbit, consistent with fibrous dysplasia. Given the extent of the tumour, open craniectomy was performed for surgical extirpation. Histological analysis identified multiple osteomas. This surgical approach achieved excellent cosmesis, with no evidence of recurrence at 12-month follow up.
Forehead swelling may pose diagnostic and management dilemmas for the ENT surgeon; however, effective management is facilitated by a multidisciplinary approach.
Piglets reared in swine production in the USA undergo painful procedures that include castration, tail docking, teeth clipping, and identification with ear notching or tagging. These procedures are usually performed without pain mitigation. The objective of this project was to develop recommendations for pain mitigation in 1- to 28-day-old piglets undergoing these procedures. The National Pork Board funded project to develop recommendations for pain mitigation in piglets. Recommendation development followed a defined multi-step process that included an evidence summary and estimates of the efficacies of interventions. The results of a systematic review of the interventions were reported in a companion paper. This manuscript describes the recommendation development process and the final recommendations. Recommendations were developed for three interventions (CO2/O2 general anesthesia, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and lidocaine) for use during castration. The ability to make strong recommendations was limited by low-quality evidence and strong certainty about variation in stakeholder values and preferences. The panel strongly recommended against the use of a CO2/O2 general anesthesia mixture, weakly recommended for the use of NSAIDs and weakly recommended against the use of lidocaine for pain mitigation during castration of 1- to 28-day-old piglets.
To systematically summarise the peer-reviewed literature relating to the aetiology, clinical presentation, investigation and treatment of geniculate neuralgia.
Articles published in English between 1932 and 2012, identified using Medline, Embase and Cochrane databases.
The search terms ‘geniculate neuralgia’, ‘nervus intermedius neuralgia’, ‘facial pain’, ‘otalgia’ and ‘neuralgia’ were used to identify relevant papers.
Fewer than 150 reported cases were published in English between 1932 and 2012. The aetiology of the condition remains unknown, and clinical presentation varies. Non-neuralgic causes of otalgia should always be excluded by a thorough clinical examination, audiological assessment and radiological investigations before making a diagnosis of geniculate neuralgia. Conservative medical treatment is always the first-line therapy. Surgical treatment should be offered if medical treatment fails. The two commonest surgical options are transection of the nervus intermedius, and microvascular decompression of the nerve at the nerve root entry zone of the brainstem. However, extracranial intratemporal division of the cutaneous branches of the facial nerve may offer a safer and similarly effective treatment.
The response to medical treatment for this condition varies between individuals. The long-term outcomes of surgery remain unknown because of limited data.
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.
Objectives: A significant number of depressed individuals experience inadequate benefit from long-term antidepressant use. This paper investigates the hypothesis that in some individuals persistent use of antidepressants may be prodepressant.
Methods: Literature regarding the effect of long-term use of antidepressants was reviewed by searching PubMed and Ovid data bases with terms: antidepressant tachyphylaxis, treatment-resistant depression, chronic depression and antidepressant tolerance.
Results: Antidepressant treatment-resistant patients frequently had a positive initial response to antidepressants. When resistance appeared, initial increases in dose or medication changes usually resulted in transient improvement. Eventually, the episodic course of the original depressive illness was replaced with a continuous, unresponsive depressive syndrome. We propose the term tardive dysphoria to describe this phenomenon.
Conclusions: The phenomenon of antidepressantinduced depression, or tardive dysphoria, needs to be experimentally examined in blinded, randomised antidepressant discontinuation studies.
To assess the outcome of conservative management of vestibular schwannoma.
Tertiary referral centre.
Four hundred and thirty-six patients with vestibular schwannoma (490 tumours), including 327 sporadic tumours and 163 tumours in 109 patients with neurofibromatosis type two.
Main outcome measures:
The relationship of tumour growth to tumour size at presentation, and to certain demographic features.
The initial tumour size was significantly larger in the neurofibromatosis type two group (11 mm) than in the sporadic vestibular schwannoma group (5.1 mm). In both groups, 68 per cent of tumours did not grow during follow up (mean 3.6 years; range one to 14 years). The mean growth rate was 1.1 mm/year (range 0–15 mm/year) for sporadic tumours and 1.7 mm/year (range 0–18 mm/year) for neurofibromatosis type two tumours. The tumour growth rate correlated positively with tumour size in the sporadic tumour group, and correlated negatively with age in the neurofibromatosis type two group.
Two-thirds of vestibular schwannomas did not grow. Radiological surveillance is an acceptable approach in carefully selected patients. Once a sporadic vestibular schwannoma reaches 2 cm in intracranial diameter, it is likely to continue growing. We do not recommend conservative management for sporadic tumours with an intracranial diameter of 1.5 cm or more. Vestibular schwannoma management is more complex in patients with neurofibromatosis type two.
Response to antidepressant medication is higher in comparator versus placebo-controlled randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Patient expectancy is an important influence on clinical outcome in the treatment of depression and may explain this finding. The results are reported from a pilot RCT studying expectancy and depression outcome in placebo-controlled versus comparator treatment conditions.
Out-patients aged 18–65 years with major depressive disorder (MDD) were enrolled in this 8-week RCT. Subjects were randomized to placebo-controlled (escitalopram or placebo) or comparator (escitalopram or citalopram) administration of antidepressant medication. Subjects reported their expected likelihood and magnitude of depression improvement before and after randomization using questions from the Credibility and Expectancy Scale (CES). A regressed change model of post-randomization expectancy of improvement was fit to the data to determine whether subjects in the comparator group reported greater expectancies of improvement than subjects in the placebo-controlled group.
Twenty subjects with mean age 56.5±11.7 years, a baseline Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD) score of 24.2±5.3, baseline Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) score of 24.9±6.4 and baseline Clinical Global Impressions (CGI) – Severity score of 4.0±0.3 were enrolled in the study. Adjusting for other factors, the effect of group assignment on expected magnitude of improvement was significant and large (effect size 1.5). No group differences in expected likelihood of improvement were found.
Randomization to comparator versus placebo-controlled administration of antidepressant medication produced greater expectancies of how much patients would improve during the trial. This expectancy difference may explain the higher response and remission rates that are observed in comparator versus placebo-controlled trials.
The aim of this study was to examine the correlation between EEG, visual, and brain MRI findings in 19 term infants with perinatal brain lesions. All 19 had their visual acuity and visual fields assessed and had an EEG and a brain MRI performed at 1 year of age. Four of the five infants with normal optic radiations and occipital cortices on MRI had normal vision. Involvement of optic radiations and occipital cortices was only associated with visual abnormalities in eight of 14 infants. The correlation between visual abnormalities and EEG findings was stronger. All infants with a completely normal EEG from the posterior regions had normal vision and all those with an EEG non-reactive to eye closure had visual abnormalities, irrespective of MRI data. A reactive EEG with other abnormal features (such as spikes, rapid or slow activities) was accompanied by abnormal vision in five of eight participants. Results suggest that there is a better correlation between visual function and EEG activity than between visual function and involvement of the classical visual areas of the occipital cortex and optic radiations on brain MRI at 1 year of age.
An endemic transmission cycle of Babesia microti was discovered in Colorado in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
B. microti were found by PCR in 4 of 25 Ixodes spinipalpis tick pools tested (a 3·2% minimum infection rate) and in 87%
(13 of 15) of Microtus ochrogaster (the prairie vole) spleen and blood samples. Using naturally infected I. spinipalpis
collected from wild-caught M. ochrogaster as vectors, B. microti and Borrelia bissettii were successfully transmitted to
laboratory-born M. ochrogaster. Neither I. spinipalpis, nor M. ochrogaster (the prairie vole) have been previously reported
as a vector or a reservoir host of B. microti. Unlike the east coast of the United States where Peromyscus leucopus is an
important reservoir for B. microti, evidence for Peromyscus spp. (neither P. maniculatus nor P. difficilis) as B. microti
reservoirs was not found in this study.