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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.
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.
Using country- and institution-level data, we find that the “coming wave” of emerging- market (EM) investors systematically over- or underweight their equity portfolio holdings in a way that reflects the influences of past capital and trade flows from a foreign country. We interpret this finding as support for van Nieuwerburgh and Veldkamp (2009) information endowment hypothesis. Strong past capital and trade flows create an information advantage that leads EM investors to disproportionately overweight a given foreign market, even relative to developed market investor counterparts. We also pursue predictions of the information endowment hypothesis by constructing novel information-advantage proxies based on relationships among investment firms and the headquarters of their parent companies. These proxies also offer reliable explanatory power for international portfolio allocations.
We report the utility of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) conducted in a clinically relevant time frame (ie, sufficient for guiding management decision), in managing a Streptococcus pyogenes outbreak, and present a comparison of its performance with emm typing.
A 2,000-bed tertiary-care psychiatric hospital.
Active surveillance was conducted to identify new cases of S. pyogenes. WGS guided targeted epidemiological investigations, and infection control measures were implemented. Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)–based genome phylogeny, emm typing, and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) were performed. We compared the ability of WGS and emm typing to correctly identify person-to-person transmission and to guide the management of the outbreak.
The study included 204 patients and 152 staff. We identified 35 patients and 2 staff members with S. pyogenes. WGS revealed polyclonal S. pyogenes infections with 3 genetically distinct phylogenetic clusters (C1–C3). Cluster C1 isolates were all emm type 4, sequence type 915 and had pairwise SNP differences of 0–5, which suggested recent person-to-person transmissions. Epidemiological investigation revealed that cluster C1 was mediated by dermal colonization and transmission of S. pyogenes in a male residential ward. Clusters C2 and C3 were genomically diverse, with pairwise SNP differences of 21–45 and 26–58, and emm 11 and mostly emm120, respectively. Clusters C2 and C3, which may have been considered person-to-person transmissions by emm typing, were shown by WGS to be unlikely by integrating pairwise SNP differences with epidemiology.
WGS had higher resolution than emm typing in identifying clusters with recent and ongoing person-to-person transmissions, which allowed implementation of targeted intervention to control the outbreak.
Multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) are increasingly reported in residential care homes for the elderly (RCHEs). We assessed whether implementation of directly observed hand hygiene (DOHH) by hand hygiene ambassadors can reduce environmental contamination with MDROs.
From July to August 2017, a cluster-randomized controlled study was conducted at 10 RCHEs (5 intervention versus 5 nonintervention controls), where DOHH was performed at two-hourly intervals during daytime, before meals and medication rounds by a one trained nurse in each intervention RCHE. Environmental contamination by MRDOs, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter species (CRA), and extended-spectrum β-lactamse (ESBL)–producing Enterobacteriaceae, was evaluated using specimens collected from communal areas at baseline, then twice weekly. The volume of alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) consumed per resident per week was measured.
The overall environmental contamination of communal areas was culture-positive for MRSA in 33 of 100 specimens (33%), CRA in 26 of 100 specimens (26%), and ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae in 3 of 100 specimens (3%) in intervention and nonintervention RCHEs at baseline. Serial monitoring of environmental specimens revealed a significant reduction in MRSA (79 of 600 [13.2%] vs 197 of 600 [32.8%]; P<.001) and CRA (56 of 600 [9.3%] vs 94 of 600 [15.7%]; P=.001) contamination in the intervention arm compared with the nonintervention arm during the study period. The volume of ABHR consumed per resident per week was 3 times higher in the intervention arm compared with the baseline (59.3±12.9 mL vs 19.7±12.6 mL; P<.001) and was significantly higher than the nonintervention arm (59.3±12.9 mL vs 23.3±17.2 mL; P=.006).
The direct observation of hand hygiene of residents could reduce environmental contamination by MDROs in RCHEs.
Suicide-related behaviours are common in schizophrenia and are significantly associated with premature death. The objective of this meta-analysis study was to estimate the pooled prevalence of suicide-related behaviours in schizophrenia patients in China.
The relevant literature was searched systematically via the relevant electronic databases (PubMed, Embase, PsycINFO, Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure, Wanfang Databases and Chinese Biological Medical Literature Database) from their inception until 14 September 2016. Only original studies that reported the prevalence of suicide-related behaviours including suicidal ideation (SI), suicide plan, suicide attempt (SA) and completed suicide were selected.
Nineteen articles met the inclusion criteria and were analysed. The pooled lifetime prevalence of SI and SA were 25.8% (95% CI 14.7–41.1%) and 14.6% (95% CI 9.1–22.8%), respectively. The 1-month prevalence of SI was 22.0% (95% CI 18.2–26.4%). Subgroup analyses of lifetime SI and SA showed that gender, sample size, survey year, study location and source of patients have no significant mediating effects on the results.
Suicide-related behaviours are common in Chinese schizophrenia patients. Due to the high mortality risk, regular screening and effective suicide prevention programmes are warranted.
Dysfunction of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) is involved in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) was conducted to examine the efficacy and safety of memantine, a non-competitive NMDAR antagonist, in the treatment of schizophrenia.
Standardized/weighted mean differences (SMDs/WMDs), risk ratio (RR), and their 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated and analyzed.
Included in the meta-analysis were eight RCTs (n = 452) of 11.5 ± 2.6 weeks duration, with 229 patients on memantine (20 mg/day) and 223 patients on placebo. Adjunctive memantine outperformed placebo in the measures of Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale and Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale negative symptoms [SMD: −0.63 (95% CI −1.10 to −0.16), p = 0.009, I2 = 77%], but not in the total, positive and general symptoms [SMD: −0.46 to −0.08 (95% CI −0.93 to 0.22), p = 0.06–0.60, I2 = 0–74%] or the Clinical Global Impression Severity Scale [WMD: 0.04 (95% CI −0.24 to 0.32), p = 0.78]. The negative symptoms remained significant after excluding one outlying RCT [SMD: −0.41 (95% CI −0.72 to −0.11), p = 0.008, I2 = 47%]. Compared with the placebo group, adjunctive memantine was associated with significant improvement in neurocognitive function using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) [WMD: 3.09, (95% CI 1.77–4.42), p < 0.00001, I2 = 22%]. There was no significant difference in the discontinuation rate [RR: 1.34 (95% CI 0.76–2.37), p = 0.31, I2 = 0%] and adverse drug reactions between the two groups.
This meta-analysis showed that adjunctive memantine appears to be an efficacious and safe treatment for improving negative symptoms and neurocognitive performance in schizophrenia. Higher quality RCTs with larger samples are warranted to confirm these findings.
To evaluate the efficacy and safety of celecoxib for pain management in post-tonsillectomy adult patients.
A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 clinical trial was conducted in an adult population (aged 18–55 years), with a parallel group design using an allocation ratio of 1:1.
Eighty patients underwent elective tonsillectomy or adenotonsillectomy, operated on by one surgeon. They were discharged home with randomly assigned celecoxib or placebo, together with regular post-tonsillectomy medications (paracetamol and Endone). Pain scores were measured from post-operative days 1 to 10. All patients were assessed on post-operative days 5, 12 and 28.
There were no statistically significant differences in the daily or overall pain scores, the total intake of Endone, or the time taken to achieve freedom from pain after tonsillectomy between the study arms (n = 40 each arm). The celecoxib-treated group experienced significantly more vomiting (celecoxib vs placebo p < 0.001 (Mann–Whitney test), confidence interval = 0.57 to 0.76).
Celecoxib usage was associated with significantly more vomiting and did not reduce narcotic analgesia requirement post-tonsillectomy.
We describe the performance of the Boolardy Engineering Test Array, the prototype for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. Boolardy Engineering Test Array is the first aperture synthesis radio telescope to use phased array feed technology, giving it the ability to electronically form up to nine dual-polarisation beams. We report the methods developed for forming and measuring the beams, and the adaptations that have been made to the traditional calibration and imaging procedures in order to allow BETA to function as a multi-beam aperture synthesis telescope. We describe the commissioning of the instrument and present details of Boolardy Engineering Test Array’s performance: sensitivity, beam characteristics, polarimetric properties, and image quality. We summarise the astronomical science that it has produced and draw lessons from operating Boolardy Engineering Test Array that will be relevant to the commissioning and operation of the final Australian Square Kilometre Array Path telescope.
This article reviews and reflects on the use of the geographic information system (GIS) as a tool, or geographic information science (GIScience) as a research methodology, and associated techniques of analysis in an empirical study-in-progress on the law and history of early twentieth century British Hong Kong. The article begins by introducing the study and its objectives, as well as the rationale for adopting GIS/GIScience as one of its research methodologies. It then highlights the preliminary findings of the current project and compares them with those of earlier research on the legal history of early twentieth century Beijing using GIS. The article also discusses the difficulties involved in adopting such a digital tool and methodology in historical research. It concludes by reflecting on what GIS can help scholars understand about the social history of law in Hong Kong, beyond what is already known, and how specialists in law, history, and geography can collaborate in a digital law and history project involving the use of GIS. This article also gives an overview of the use of GIS in conducting empirical research in the humanities (including but not limited to history and legal history research) and points to digital sources and web sites useful to researchers who may need tools and data to launch a GIS study in law and history.
As part of a 4-year Cosmology and Particle Astrophysics (CosPA) Research Excellence Initiative in Taiwan, AMiBA - a 19-element dual-channel 85-105 GHz interferometer array is being specifically built to search for high redshift clusters of galaxies via the Sunyaev-Zeldovich Effect (SZE). In addition, AMiBA will have full polarization capabilities, in order to probe the polarization properties of the Cosmic Microwave Background. AMiBA, to be sited on Mauna Kea in Hawaii or in Chile, will reach a sensitivity of ˜ 1 mJy or 7μK in 1 hour. The project involves extensive international scientific and technical collaborations. The construction of AMiBA is scheduled to starting operating in early 2004.
Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAB) with diverse multilocus sequence typing emerged among our nursing home residents (6.5%) with a high background rate of MRSA (32.2%). Rectal swabs yielded a higher rate of CRAB detection than axillary or nasal swabs. Bed-bound status, use of adult diapers, and nasogastric tube were risk factors for CRAB colonization.
It is unclear if the impact of psychoeducational family intervention for patients with schizophrenia can be sustained over 10 years. In this study, we explored the 14-year effect of psychoeducational family intervention for patients with schizophrenia in a Chinese rural area.
The data from a cluster randomized control trial (CRCT) study of psychoeducational family intervention in a 14-year follow-up was analyzed. All patients with schizophrenia (n = 326) who participated in the CRCT drawn from six townships in Xinjin County of Chengdu in 1994, of whom 238 (73.0%) who were still alive, and their informants were followed up in 2008. The Patients Follow-up Scale, the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and the Global Assessment of Functioning were used in the follow-up study.
There were no significant differences of marital status, mean scores of PANSS positive symptoms, negative symptoms, general mental health, and total scores among the psychoeducational family intervention, medication, and control groups in 2008. The psychoeducational family intervention group had a significantly higher rate of antipsychotic medication and a higher level of work ability than other two groups. The control group had a significantly higher rate of never-treated (26.0%) than psychoeducational family intervention group (6.5%).
Psychoeducational family intervention might be still effective in the 14-year follow-up, especially in patients’ treatment adherence/compliance and social functioning. Psychoeducational family intervention might be more effective in places where family members frequently participated in patients’ care and had a lower level of knowledge on mental illness. Family intervention should be considered when making mental health policy and planning mental health services.
This paper describes the system architecture of a newly constructed radio telescope – the Boolardy engineering test array, which is a prototype of the Australian square kilometre array pathfinder telescope. Phased array feed technology is used to form multiple simultaneous beams per antenna, providing astronomers with unprecedented survey speed. The test array described here is a six-antenna interferometer, fitted with prototype signal processing hardware capable of forming at least nine dual-polarisation beams simultaneously, allowing several square degrees to be imaged in a single pointed observation. The main purpose of the test array is to develop beamforming and wide-field calibration methods for use with the full telescope, but it will also be capable of limited early science demonstrations.
Immunoglobulin G4 related disease is a rare condition. Cases involving the sinonasal region are exceptionally uncommon. This paper describes a case of immunoglobulin G4 related disease isolated solely to the nasal cavity.
Case report and literature review.
A 34-year-old man presented with painless, progressive bilateral nasal obstruction. Clinical examination and imaging findings demonstrated bilateral submucosal swelling of the anterior septum and right external nasal wall. Biopsy revealed immunoglobulin G4 related disease. The patient responded to oral corticosteroids initially, followed by long-term methotrexate.
To the best of our knowledge, this case represents the first report in the literature of immunoglobulin G4 related disease isolated solely to the nasal cavity.
Distributed Bragg reflector (DBR) structures based on AlN/GaN have been grown on (0001) sapphire by electron-cyclotron-resonance plasma-assisted molecular-beam epitaxy (ECR-MBE). The design of the structures was predetermined by simulations using the transmission matrix method. A number of structures have been grown with 20.5 – 25.5 periods showing peak reflectance ranging from the near-UV to the green wavelength regions. For the best sample, peak reflectance up to 99% was observed centered at 467 nm with a bandwidth of 45 nm. The experimental reflectance data were compared with the simulations and show excellent agreement with respect to peak reflectance, bandwidth of high reflectance and the locations of the sidelobes.
Education plays an important role in development. Basic education is at the core of national strategies aimed at enhancing human development, social and political empowerment and economic progress. The recognition of the value of education is clearly reflected in the second goal of the UN Millennium Development Goals, which aims to achieve universal primary education for children everywhere, boys and girls alike, by 2015. Achieving these goals is particularly important in this age of the global knowledge economy, where many socioeconomic groups in developing countries risk exclusion from the economic and social benefits that this new knowledge economy can potentially provide (Castells 1996).
A long-standing relationship exists between education and technology; some would suggest it began with the invention of the printing press. As new technologies emerged, educational providers have tried to integrate them into the learning process. The emergence of newer information and communications technologies (ICTs), like computers and mobile phones, has significantly widened the scope of how technologies can facilitate educational processes and there is a growing interest in using ICTs in developing countries' educational settings. Many believe that introducing ICTs into these contexts will have great impact given the systematic problems of access to quality education in the developing world. Yet evidence is lacking with regard to the actual impact of ICTs on the educational sector. Trucano, in a 2005 World Bank/infoDev study, found that the impact of ICT use on learning outcomes is unclear and open to much debate as reportedly very little useful data exist on several dimensions of ICT interventions in education.