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Sixty target words were selected from two sets of graded readers. One set contained three readers with the same title, The Railway Children, and the other set, three books about Sherlock Holmes. Students chose one of the two sets to read and were given a pretest, an immediate posttest, and a five-week delayed posttest on their acquisition of spelling, aural meaning, written meaning, and use. Five fixed factors (time, frequency of word occurrence, glossing, word frequency levels, and four dimensions of vocabulary knowledge) in vocabulary learning and a random variable (the participants) were analyzed with generalized linear mixed models. The results show that the odds of improvements in the knowledge of written and aural meanings were significantly better than those for the knowledge of spelling and use. Significant interaction effects were found between time and other fixed factors, except for glossing. Pedagogical implications of the results are discussed.
The second Singapore Mental Health Study (SMHS) – a nationwide, cross-sectional, epidemiological survey - was initiated in 2016 with the intent of tracking the state of mental health of the general population in Singapore. The study employed the same methodology as the first survey initiated in 2010. The SMHS 2016 aimed to (i) establish the 12-month and lifetime prevalence and correlates of major depressive disorder (MDD), dysthymia, bipolar disorder, generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) (which included alcohol abuse and dependence) and (ii) compare the prevalence of these disorders with reference to data from the SMHS 2010.
Door-to-door household surveys were conducted with adult Singapore residents aged 18 years and above from 2016 to 2018 (n = 6126) which yielded a response rate of 69.0%. The subjects were randomly selected using a disproportionate stratified sampling method and assessed using World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview version 3.0 (WHO-CIDI 3.0). The diagnoses of lifetime and 12-month selected mental disorders including MDD, dysthymia, bipolar disorder, GAD, OCD, and AUD (alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence), were based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) criteria.
The lifetime prevalence of at least one mood, anxiety or alcohol use disorder was 13.9% in the adult population. MDD had the highest lifetime prevalence (6.3%) followed by alcohol abuse (4.1%). The 12-month prevalence of any DSM-IV mental disorders was 6.5%. OCD had the highest 12-month prevalence (2.9%) followed by MDD (2.3%). Lifetime and 12-month prevalence of mental disorders assessed in SMHS 2016 (13.8% and 6.4%) was significantly higher than that in SMHS 2010 (12.0% and 4.4%). A significant increase was observed in the prevalence of lifetime GAD (0.9% to 1.6%) and alcohol abuse (3.1% to 4.1%). The 12-month prevalence of GAD (0.8% vs. 0.4%) and OCD (2.9% vs. 1.1%) was significantly higher in SMHS 2016 as compared to SMHS 2010.
The high prevalence of OCD and the increase across the two surveys needs to be tackled at a population level both in terms of creating awareness of the disorder and the need for early treatment. Youth emerge as a vulnerable group who are more likely to be associated with mental disorders and thus targeted interventions in this group with a focus on youth friendly and accessible care centres may lead to earlier detection and treatment of mental disorders.
We present a pilot case using an innovative fusion of echocardiogram and MRI achieved with a MATLAB-based imaging programme to explore the feasibility of this imaging strategy in the functional and anatomic assessment of a patient with repaired tetralogy of Fallot requiring pulmonary valve intervention. Echocardiogram and MRI neutralises the disadvantages and limitations of each individual imaging modality and yields important anatomic and haemodynamic information crucial to the treatment decision-making process. Future image fusion strategies can apply to three-dimensional images and image-directed therapy for CHD.
There has recently been an increased interest in mental health indicators for the monitoring of population wellbeing, which is among the targets of Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations. Levels of subjective wellbeing and suicide rates have been proposed as indicators of population mental health, but prior research is limited.
Data on individual happiness and life satisfaction were sourced from a population-based survey in Hong Kong (2011). Suicide data were extracted from Coroner's Court files (2005–2013). Area characteristic variables included local poverty rate and four factors derived from a factor analysis of 21 variables extracted from the 2011 census. The associations between mean happiness and life satisfaction scores and suicide rates were assessed using Pearson correlation coefficient at two area levels: 18 districts and 30 quantiles of large street blocks (LSBs; n = 1620). LSB is a small area unit with a higher level of within-unit homogeneity compared with districts. Partial correlations were used to control for area characteristics.
Happiness and life satisfaction demonstrated weak inverse associations with suicide rate at the district level (r = −0.32 and −0.36, respectively) but very strong associations at the LSB quantile level (r = −0.83 and −0.84, respectively). There were generally very weak or weak negative correlations across sex/age groups at the district level but generally moderate to strong correlations at the LSB quantile level. The associations were markedly attenuated or became null after controlling for area characteristics.
Subjective wellbeing is strongly associated with suicide at a small area level; socioeconomic factors can largely explain this association. Socioeconomic factors could play an important role in determining the wellbeing of the population, and this could inform policies aimed at enhancing population wellbeing.
We present the first data release of the SkyMapper Southern Survey, a hemispheric survey carried out with the SkyMapper Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia. Here, we present the survey strategy, data processing, catalogue construction, and database schema. The first data release dataset includes over 66 000 images from the Shallow Survey component, covering an area of 17 200 deg2 in all six SkyMapper passbands uvgriz, while the full area covered by any passband exceeds 20 000 deg2. The catalogues contain over 285 million unique astrophysical objects, complete to roughly 18 mag in all bands. We compare our griz point-source photometry with Pan-STARRS1 first data release and note an RMS scatter of 2%. The internal reproducibility of SkyMapper photometry is on the order of 1%. Astrometric precision is better than 0.2 arcsec based on comparison with Gaia first data release. We describe the end-user database, through which data are presented to the world community, and provide some illustrative science queries.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
Knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of the population regarding severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) in endemic areas of Lu'an in China were assessed before and after an intervention programme. The pre-intervention phase was conducted using a sample of 425 participants from the 12 selected villages with the highest rates of endemic SFTS infection. A predesigned interview questionnaire was used to assess KAP. Subsequently, an intervention programme was designed and applied in the selected villages. KAP was re-assessed for each population in the selected villages using the same interview questionnaire. Following 2 months of the programme, 339 participants had completed the re-assessed survey. The impact of the intervention programme was evaluated using suitable statistical methods. A significant increase in the KAP and total KAP scores was noted following the intervention programme, whereas the proportion of correct knowledge, the positive attitudes and the effective practices toward SFTS of respondents increased significantly. The intervention programme was effective in improving KAP level of SFTS in populations that were resident in endemic areas.
This study presents a new groove profile using the slant groove depth arrangements to enhance the performance of micro-HGJBs. The computational analysis was based on the steady-state three-dimensional conservation equations of mass and momentum in conjunction with the cavitation model to examine the complex lubricated flow field. The simulated results of load capacity and circumferential pressure distribution of lubricant film are in good agreement with the measurement data and the predictions cited in the literature. Numerical experiments were extended to determine the pressure distribution, load capacity, radial stiffness and friction torque by varying the slant ratio of groove depth, eccentricity ratio, rotational speed and attitude angle. The cavitation extent of lubricant film was also studied for different slant groove patterns.
The enhanced error monitoring in patients with obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), typically measured with the error-related negativity (ERN), has been found to be temporally stable and independent of symptom expression. Here, we examined whether the error monitoring in patients with OCD could be experimentally modulated by individually tailored symptom provocation.
Twenty patients with OCD and 20 healthy controls performed a flanker task in which OCD-relevant or neutral pictures were presented prior to a flanker stimulus. An individualized stimulus set consisting of the most provoking images in terms of OCD symptoms was selected for each patient with OCD. Response-locked event-related potentials were recorded and used to examine the error-related brain activity.
Patients with OCD showed larger ERN amplitudes than did control subjects in both the OCD-symptom provocation and neutral conditions. Additionally, while patients with OCD exhibited a significant increase in the ERN under the OCD-symptom provocation condition when compared with the neutral condition, control subjects showed no variation in the ERN between the conditions.
Our results strengthen earlier findings of hyperactive error monitoring in OCD, as indexed by higher ERN amplitudes in patients with OCD than in controls. Importantly, we showed that the patients’ overactive error-signals were experimentally enhanced by individually tailored OCD-symptom triggers, thus suggesting convincing evidence between OCD-symptoms and ERN. Such findings imply that therapeutic interventions should target affective regulation in order to alleviate the perceived threatening value of OCD triggers.
During April 1995, a field and aircraft experiment was conducted in central Alaska in support of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) snow-mapping project. The MODIS Airborne Simulator (MAS), a 50 channel spectroradiometer, was flown on board the NASA ER-2 aircraft. An objective of the mission was to determine the accuracy of mapping snow in different surface covers using an algorithm designed to map global snow cover after the launch of MODIS in 1998. The surface cover in this area of central Alaska is typically spruce, birch, aspen, mixed forest and muskeg. Integrated reflectance, Ri was calculated from the visible/near-infrared channels of the MAS sensor. The Ri was used to estimate different vegetation-cover densities because there is an inverse relationship between vegetation-cover density and albedo in snow-covered terrain. A vegetation-cover density map was constructed using MAS data acquired on 13 April 1995 over central Alaska. In the part of the scene that was mapped as having a vegetation-cover density of < 50%, the snow-mapping algorithm mapped 96.41% snow cover. These areas are generally composed of muskeg and mixed forests and include frozen lake. In the part of the scene that was estimated to have a vegetation-cover density of ≥50%, the snow-mapping algorithm mapped 71.23% snow cover. These areas are generally composed of dense coniferous or deciduous forests. Overall, the accuracy of the snow-mapping algorithm is > 87.41% for a 13 April MAS scene with a variety of surface covers (coniferous and deciduous and mixed forests, muskeg, tundra and frozen lake).
In recent years, compact camera modules (CCMs) have been widely used in consumer electrical and electronic products. CCMs with low cost specially are necessary for portable devices. Therefore, the present group recently developed a miniaturized open-loop controlled camera module with low cost for cellphone applications, in which the Lorentz force is balanced by a magnetic restoring force. To enhance the performance of the camera module, this article reports a pattern structure to modify the linearity of the magnetic restoring force. We fabricated a CCM prototype with the dimensions of 8.5 mm × 8.5 mm × 5 mm and demonstrated the usefulness of the pattern structure with the CCM prototype. Its potential applications are foreseeable in portable devices, such as cellphones, web cameras, personal digital assistants and other commercial electronics.
Poor insight is prevalent in patients with schizophrenia and has been associated with acute illness severity, medication non-adherence and poor treatment outcomes. Paradoxically, high insight has been associated with various undesirable outcomes, including low self-esteem, depression and low subjective quality of life (QoL) in patients with schizophrenia. Despite the growing body of studies conducted in Western countries supporting the pernicious effects of improved insight in psychosis, which bases on the level of self-stigma, the effects are unclear in non-Western societies. The current study examined the role of self-stigma in the relationship between insight and psychosocial outcomes in a Chinese population.
A total of 170 outpatients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders were recruited from two general university hospitals. Sociodemographic data and clinical variables were recorded and self-report scales were employed to measure self-stigma, depression, insight, self-esteem and subjective QoL. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was used to analyse the cross-sectional data.
High levels of self-stigma were reported by 39% of the participants (n = 67). The influences of insight, self-stigma, self-esteem and depression on subjective QoL were confirmed by the SEM results. Our model with the closest fit to the data (χ2 = 33.28; df = 20; p = 0.03; χ2/df = 1.66; CFI = 0.98; TLI = 0.97; RMSEA = 0.06) demonstrated that self-stigma might fully mediate the association of insight with low self-esteem, depression and poor subjective QoL. High insight into illness contributed to self-stigma, which caused low self-esteem and depression and, consequently, low QoL. Notably, insight did not directly affect self-esteem, depression or QoL. Furthermore, the association of insight with poor psychosocial outcomes was not moderated by self-stigma.
Our findings support the mediating model of insight relevant to the poor psychosocial outcomes of individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia in non-Western societies, in which self-stigma plays a pivotal role. These findings elucidate the direct and indirect effects of insight on psychosocial outcomes and imply that identifying and correcting self-stigma in people with schizophrenia could be beneficial. Additional studies are required to identify whether several other neurocognitive or psychosocial variables mediate or moderate the association of insight with self-esteem, depression and QoL in patients with schizophrenia. Studies with detailed longitudinal assessments are necessary to confirm our findings.
Better understanding of the complex interplay among key determinants of functional outcome is crucial to promoting recovery in psychotic disorders. However, this is understudied in the early course of illness. We aimed to examine the relationships among negative symptoms, neurocognition, general self-efficacy and global functioning in first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients using structural equation modeling (SEM).
Three hundred and twenty-one Chinese patients aged 26–55 years presenting with FEP to an early intervention program in Hong Kong were recruited. Assessments encompassing symptom profiles, functioning, perceived general self-efficacy and a battery of neurocognitive tests were conducted. Negative symptom measurement was subdivided into amotivation and diminished expression (DE) domain scores based on the ratings in the Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms.
An initial SEM model showed no significant association between functioning and DE which was removed from further analysis. A final trimmed model yielded very good model fit (χ2 = 15.48, p = 0.63; comparative fit index = 1.00; root mean square error of approximation <0.001) and demonstrated that amotivation, neurocognition and general self-efficacy had a direct effect on global functioning. Amotivation was also found to mediate a significant indirect effect of neurocognition and general self-efficacy on functioning. Neurocognition was not significantly related to general self-efficacy.
Our results indicate a critical intermediary role of amotivation in linking neurocognitive impairment to functioning in FEP. General self-efficacy may represent a promising treatment target for improvement of motivational deficits and functional outcome in the early illness stage.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a highly heritable neurodevelopmental disorder, yet the search for definite genetic etiologies remains elusive. Delineating ASD endophenotypes can boost the statistical power to identify the genetic etiologies and pathophysiology of ASD. We aimed to test for endophenotypes of neuroanatomy and associated intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC) via contrasting male youth with ASD, their unaffected brothers and typically developing (TD) males.
The 94 participants (aged 9–19 years) – 20 male youth with ASD, 20 unaffected brothers and 54 TD males – received clinical assessments, and undertook structural and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scans. Voxel-based morphometry was performed to obtain regional gray and white matter volumes. A seed-based approach, with seeds defined by the regions demonstrating atypical neuroanatomy shared by youth with ASD and unaffected brothers, was implemented to derive iFC. General linear models were used to compare brain structures and iFC among the three groups. Assessment of familiality was investigated by permutation tests for variance of the within-family pair difference.
We found that atypical gray matter volume in the mid-cingulate cortex was shared between male youth with ASD and their unaffected brothers as compared with TD males. Moreover, reduced iFC between the mid-cingulate cortex and the right inferior frontal gyrus, and increased iFC between the mid-cingulate cortex and bilateral middle occipital gyrus were the shared features of male ASD youth and unaffected brothers.
Atypical neuroanatomy and iFC surrounding the mid-cingulate cortex may be a potential endophenotypic marker for ASD in males.
The RNAse III endonuclease DICER is a key regulator of microRNA (miRNA) biogenesis and is frequently down-regulated in a variety of malignancies. We characterized the role of Dicer in glioblastoma (GB), specifically demonstrating its effects on the ability of glioma stem-like cells to form tumors in a mouse model of GB. DICER silencing in glioma stem-like cells (GSCs) reduced their stem cell characteristics, while tumors arising from these cells were more aggressive, larger in volume, and displayed a higher proliferation index and lineage differentiation. The resulting tumors, however, were more sensitive to radiation treatment. Our results demonstrate that DICER affects the tumorigenic potential of GSCs, providing a platform for analysis of specific relevant miRNAs and development of potentially novel therapies against GB.
The aim of the study was to evaluate the comparative risk of self-harm associated with the use of different antidepressants.
A cohort study was conducted using data from Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database from 2001 to 2012. A total of 751 606 new antidepressant users with depressive disorders were included. The study outcome was hospitalization due to self-harm (International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification codes: E950–E958 and E980–E988). Cox proportional hazards models with stratification of the propensity score deciles were used to estimate the hazard ratios of self-harm hospitalization during the first year following the initiation of antidepressant treatment.
There were 1038 hospitalization episodes due to self-harm that occurred during the follow-up of 149 796 person-years, with an overall incidence rate of 6.9 [95% confidence interval (CI) 6.5–7.4] per 1000. Compared with fluoxetine, the risk of self-harm hospitalization was higher for maprotiline [adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) = 3.00, 95% CI 1.40–6.45], milnacipran (aHR = 2.34, 95% CI 1.24–4.43) and mirtazapine (aHR = 1.40, 95% CI 1.06–1.86), lower for bupropion (aHR = 0.51, 95% CI 0.30–0.86), and similar level of risk was found for other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (citalopram, escitalopram, fluvoxamine, paroxetine and sertraline).
The risk of self-harm may vary across different antidepressant drugs. It would be of importance to conduct further research to investigate the influence of antidepressant use on self-harm behaviors.