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Alcohol and cannabis remain the substances most widely used by adolescents. Better understanding of the dynamic relationship between trajectories of substance use in relation to neuropsychological functioning is needed. The aim of this study was to examine the different impacts of within- and between-person changes in alcohol and cannabis use on neuropsychological functioning over multiple time points.
Hierarchical linear modeling examined the effects of alcohol and cannabis use on neuropsychological functioning over the course of 14 years in a sample of 175 adolescents (aged 12–15 years at baseline).
Time-specific fluctuations in alcohol use (within-person effect) predicted worse performance across time on the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence Block Design subtest (B = −.05, SE = .02, p = .01). Greater mean levels of percent days of cannabis use across time (between-person effect) were associated with an increased contrast score between Delis–Kaplan Executive Function System Color Word Inhibition and Color Naming conditions (B = .52, SE = .14, p < .0001) and poorer performance over time on Block Design (B = −.08, SE = .04, p = .03). Neither alcohol and/nor cannabis use over time was associated with performance in the verbal memory and processing speed domains.
Greater cumulative cannabis use over adolescence may be linked to poorer inhibitory control and visuospatial functioning performance, whereas more proximal increases in alcohol consumption during adolescence may drive alcohol-related performance decrements in visuospatial functioning. Results from this prospective study add to the growing body of literature on the impact of alcohol and cannabis use on cognition from adolescent to young adulthood.
This article analyses the dynamics of official and unofficial religious nationalism in the Vietnamese border town of Lào Cai. In 1979 it was one of many Vietnamese towns that were reduced to rubble during the short but bloody war between Vietnam and China. The normalization of Sino-Vietnamese relations in 1991 allowed a booming border trade that let Lào Cai prosper, while the painful memory of this war continued to haunt the town and the daily experiences of its residents, both humans and gods. Since the Vietnamese state forbids any official remembrance of the war, Lào Cai residents have found a religious way to deal with their war memories that skilfully evades state control. By analysing narratives about the fate of the gods and goddesses that reign in the Father God Temple and the Mother Goddess Temple—two religious institutions located right next to the border—this article shows that it is in the symbolism of the supernatural that one can find memories of the war and of the changing social landscape of Lào Cai and reconstruct its history.
Work in sociolinguistic typology and creole studies has established the theory that intensive language contact involving second language acquisition by adults tends to lead to grammatical simplification. This theory is built on many anecdotal case studies, including developments in the history of Continental North Germanic associated with contact with Middle Low German. In this paper, we assess the theory by examining two changes in the history of Norwegian: the loss of coda /Cr/ clusters and the loss of prepositional genitives. If the theory is correct, these changes should have been innovated in centers of contact with Middle Low German. We find that both changes in fact spread into southeastern Norwegian from Swedish. Since contact with Low German also took place in Sweden and Denmark, this is consistent with the theory. It opens questions for future research about the role of dialect contact in simplificatory change in North Germanic.
This study aimed to examine the relationships between socio-economic status, health-promoting lifestyles, and quality of life among Chinese nursing students.
Nursing students will be future health promoters, but they may not always adopt the recommended healthy lifestyle. Currently, there are insufficient studies examining the health-promoting lifestyles of Chinese nursing students, and the impact of socio-economic status and health-promoting lifestyle on their health.
This was a cross-sectional survey. Data were collected from nursing students studying in pre-registration nursing programs of a university in Hong Kong. The survey was conducted through a self-administered questionnaire that solicited information regarding their socio-economic status, health-promoting lifestyle, quality of life, and perceptions of the barriers to adopting a health-promoting lifestyle.
A total of 538 students returned completed questionnaires for analysis. Among the health-promoting lifestyle subscales, the participants performed best in interpersonal relations and worst in physical activity, and the vast majority of them did not actively engage in health-risk behaviors. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that only 5% of the variance in quality of life was explained by socio-economic variables, whereas a total of 24% of the variance was explained when health-promoting lifestyle variables were added. In particular, health responsibility, physical activity, spiritual growth, and stress management were statistically significant predictors of quality of life.
Early concerns about how prepared nurses are to take on the role of promoting health still apply today. School administrators should plan the nursing curriculum to include activities that encourage student nurses to participate in health-promoting lifestyles. Future studies are needed to explore the barriers that prevent students from practicing health-promoting behavior.
Adolescence is a period marked by increases in risk taking, sensation seeking, and emotion dysregulation. Neurobiological models of adolescent development propose that lagging development in brain regions associated with affect and behavior control compared to regions associated with reward and emotion processing may underlie these behavioral manifestations. Cross-sectional studies have identified several functional brain networks that may contribute to risk for substance use and psychopathology in adolescents. Determining brain structure measures that prospectively predict substance use and psychopathology could refine our understanding of the mechanisms that contribute to these problems, and lead to improved prevention efforts. Participants (N = 265) were healthy substance-naïve adolescents (ages 12–14) who underwent magnetic resonance imaging and then were followed annually for up to 13 years. Cortical thickness and surface area measures for three prefrontal regions (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, inferior frontal gyrus, and orbitofrontal cortex) and three cortical regions from identified functional networks (anterior cingulate cortex, insular cortex, and parietal cortex) were used to predict subsequent binge drinking, externalizing symptoms, and internalizing symptoms. Thinner dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and inferior frontal cortex in early adolescence predicted more binge drinking and externalizing symptoms, respectively, in late adolescence (ps < .05). Having a family history of alcohol use disorder predicted more subsequent binge drinking and externalizing symptoms. Thinner parietal cortex, but not family history, predicted more subsequent internalizing symptoms (p < .05). This study emphasizes the temporal association between maturation of the salience, inhibition, and executive control networks in early adolescence and late adolescent behavior outcomes. Our findings indicate that developmental variations in these brain regions predate behavioral outcomes of substance use and psychopathology, and may therefore serve as prospective biomarkers of vulnerability.
The fragmented ecosystems along the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve provide important habitats for biota including lichens. Nonetheless, the Reserve is disturbed by dense human populations and associated air pollution. Here we investigated patterns of lichen diversity within urban and rural sites at three different locations (Niagara, Hamilton, and Owen Sound) along the Niagara Escarpment in Ontario, Canada. Our results indicate that both lichen species richness and community composition are negatively correlated with increasing human population density and air pollution. However, our quantitative analysis of community composition using canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) indicates that human population density and air pollution is more independent than might be assumed. The CCA analysis suggests that the strongest environmental gradient (CCA1) associated with lichen community composition includes regional pollution load and climatic variables; the second gradient (CCA2) is associated with local pollution load and human population density factors. These results increase the knowledge of lichen biodiversity for the Niagara Escarpment and urban and rural fragmented ecosystems as well as along gradients of human population density and air pollution; they suggest a differential influence of regional and local pollution loads and population density factors. This study provides baseline knowledge for further research and conservation initiatives along the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve.
Nacre (mother of pearl) is an attractive model for the development of new
materials. Its sheet structure of alternating layers of calcium carbonate and an
organic matrix confers it highly desirable properties such as high toughness and
strength. In this study, we produce a nacre-inspired composite material using
only bacterially-produced components. Calcium carbonate is crystallized via the
action of ureolytic bacteria. After each crystallization event, we apply
bacterially produced γ-polyglutamate (PGA) to the sample, which
promotes layering compared to the PGA-free control. We show that the combination
of these two compounds yields a layered material reminiscent of nacre, showing a
way towards the biotechnological production of new, nacre-inspired
Keyword analysis has been used to investigate properties of style and genre, as a tool in discourse analysis, and as a method of identifying differences between the speech of distinct social groups. It has often been criticised as a blunt tool which can exaggerate what differences are present and fails to distinguish between quite distinct phenomena. However, it remains a very powerful tool for wide analysis of systematic differences between corpora when used with sufficient scepticism. This paper uses keyword analysis to examine differences between the speech of male and female characters in the Íslendingasögur, narrative prose texts composed in Iceland in the 13th and 14th centuries. This dataset is of particular interest because such representations of speech are the only window on the language of social groups who were not involved in text production in medieval societies. It aims to demonstrate a rigorous application of keyword analysis, exemplifying what it can and, crucially, what it cannot show.
The assessment of limitations in social capacities can be done with the Mini-ICF-APP, a rating scale built in reference to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). The aim of this study was to assess the reliability and the convergent validity of the Italian version of this scale.
We recruited 120 consecutive patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar I disorder and anxiety disorders. Included measures were the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS), the Clinical Global Impression Scale (CGI-S), the Personal and Social Performance Scale (PSP) and the Social and Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale (SOFAS).
The median CGI-S and BPRS scores were 5 and 16.5. Mean Mini-ICF-APP total score was 18.1. Schizophrenics' Mini-ICF-APP score was higher, while that of anxious patients was lower than in the other diagnoses. Intra-class correlations (ICC) revealed a significant inter-rater agreement for total score (ICC 0.987) and for each item of the Mini-ICF-APP. The test–retest agreement was also highly significant (ICC 0.993). The total score of the Mini-ICF-APP obtained good negative correlations with PSP (rs = −0.767) and with SOFAS scores (rs = −0.790). The distribution items of the Mini-ICF-APP showed some skewness, indicating that self-care (item 12) and mobility (item 13) were amply preserved in most patients. The Mini-ICF-APP total score was significantly correlated with both CGI-S (rs = 0.777) and BPRS (rs = 0.729).
As a short instrument, the Mini-ICF-APP scale seems to be well suited to everyday psychiatric practice as a means of monitoring changes in psychosocial functioning, in particular in schizophrenic patients.
Anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs) are thought to be magnetars which are young isolated neutron stars with extremely strong magnetic fields of >1014 Gauss. Their tremendous magnetic fields inferred from the spin parameters provide a huge energy reservoir to power the observed X-ray emission. High-energy emission above 0.3 MeV has never been detected despite intensive search. Here, we present the possible Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) detection of γ-ray pulsations above 200 MeV from the AXP, 1E 2259+586, which puts the current theoretical models of γ-ray emission mechanisms of magnetars into challenge. We speculate that the high-energy γ-rays originate from the outer magnetosphere of the magnetar.
Background: This study investigated whether brief exposure to information has any effect on stigmatizing attitudes towards older people with dementia, and how people responded to this medical diagnosis.
Methods: 494 adults were randomly assigned to three groups differentiated by experimental conditions. Group A (control) responded to questions on stigma directly. Group B (symptom) read two vignettes that described the symptoms of two fictitious individuals with dementia, before answering questions on stigma. Group C (label) read the same vignettes which ended with a statement that the person was recently diagnosed with dementia by a physician. Data were analyzed with ANOVA, together with other pre-existing between-subjects factors.
Results: Brief exposure to information about dementia led to a statistically significant reduction in stigma (Groups B, C < A), regardless of whether the diagnostic label of “dementia” was included or not. Moreover, lower stigma was reported by persons who knew a relative or friend with dementia, who were younger and more educated, and who thought dementia was treatable.
Conclusions: As stigmatizing attitudes toward dementia are still a hindrance to early help-seeking in Asian communities, the findings suggest that community education may play a useful role in alleviating this barrier to early detection and intervention.
The UK was one of few European countries to document a substantial wave of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza in summer 2009. The First Few Hundred (FF100) project ran from April–June 2009 gathering information on early laboratory-confirmed cases across the UK. In total, 392 confirmed cases were followed up. Children were predominantly affected (median age 15 years, IQR 10–27). Symptoms were mild and similar to seasonal influenza, with the exception of diarrhoea, which was reported by 27%. Eleven per cent of all cases had an underlying medical condition, similar to the general population. The majority (92%) were treated with antiviral drugs with 12% reporting adverse effects, mainly nausea and other gastrointestinal complaints. Duration of illness was significantly shorter when antivirals were given within 48 h of onset (median 5 vs. 9 days, P=0·01). No patients died, although 14 were hospitalized, of whom three required mechanical ventilation. The FF100 identified key clinical and epidemiological characteristics of infection with this novel virus in near real-time.
Background: Growing evidence suggests that participation in late-life leisure activity may have beneficial effects on cognitive function. The objective of the study was to evaluate the association between leisure activity participation and cognitive function in an elderly population of community-dwelling Hong Kong Chinese.
Methods: 512 participants were assessed in the follow-up study of a population-based community survey of the prevalence of cognitive impairment among Hong Kong Chinese aged 60 years and over. Leisure activities were classified into four categories (physical, intellectual, social and recreational). Information regarding leisure activity participation, cognitive function and other variables was collected. Multivariate linear regression analyses were performed to examine the association between leisure activity participation and cognitive function.
Results: A higher level of late-life leisure activity participation, particularly in intellectual activities, was significantly associated with better cognitive function in the elderly, as reflected by the results of the Cantonese Mini-mental State Examination (p = 0.007, 0.029 and 0.005), the Category Verbal Fluency Test (p = 0.027, 0.003 and 0.005) and digit backward span (p = 0.031, 0.002 and 0.009), as measured by the total frequency, total hours per week and total number of subtypes, respectively; the Chinese Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale (p = 0.045) and word list learning (p = 0.003), as measured by the total number of subtypes; and digit forward span (p = 0.007 and 0.015), as measured by the total hours per week and total number of subtypes, respectively.
Conclusion: Late-life intellectual activity participation was associated with better cognitive function among community-dwelling Hong Kong elderly Chinese.
The epidemiological, clinical and virological features of 1220 children with acute bronchiolitis admitted to the Prince of Wales Hospital, Hong Kong, from 1985 to 1988 are reported. They accounted for 6·6% of total paediatric admissions and provided a case incidence of bronchiolitis requiring admission to hospital of approximately 21 per 1000 children 0–24 months of age.
The clinical course and outcome was in general benign. The average hospital stay was 5 days and there were no deaths. Ten per cent of patients were repeatedly admitted to hospital with recurrent wheezing after discharge. Two infants developed bronchiolitis obliterans.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) was shown by direct immunofluorescence, virus culture and serology to be the commonest cause of acute bronchiolitis in Hong Kong. Other aetiological agents included parainfluenza and influenza viruses, adenoviruses, and Mycoplasma pneumoniae.
In contrast to western countries, a seasonal variation of bronchiolitis was found with a peak incidence in the summer months. The significance of these observations is discussed.
The behavior of plutonium (Pu) oxides in the presence of water/moisture in a confined space and the associated issues of hydrogen and oxygen generation due to radiolysis have important implications for the storage and transportation of Pu-bearing materials. This paper reviews the results of recent studies of gas generation in the Pu-O-H system, including the determination of release rates via engineering-scale measurement. The observations of the significant differences in gas generation behavior between “pure” Pu-bearing materials and those that contain salt impurities are addressed. In conjunction with the discussion of these empirical observations, the work also addresses recent scientific advances in the investigations of the Pu-O-H system using state-of-the-art ab initio electronic structure calculations, as well as advanced synchrotron techniques to determine the electronic structure of the various Pu-containing phases. The role of oxidizing species such as the hydroxyl radical from the radiolysis of water is examined. Discussed also is the challenge in the predictive ab-initio calculations of the electronic structure of the Pu-H-O system, due to the nature of the 5f valence electrons in Pu. Coupled with the continuing material surveillance program, it is anticipated that this work may help determine the electronic structure of the various Pu-containing phases and the role of impurity salts on gas generation and the long-term stability of oxygen/hydrogen-containing plutonium oxides beyond PuO2.
The number of deaths attributable to influenza is believed to be considerably higher than the number certified by vital statistics registration as due to influenza. Weekly mortality data for Canada from the 1989/1990 to the 1998/1999 influenza seasons were analysed by cause of death, age group, and place of death to estimate the impact of influenza on mortality. A Poisson regression model was found to accurately predict all-cause, as well as cause-specific mortality, as a function of influenza-certified deaths, after controlling for seasonality, and trend. Influenza-attributable deaths were calculated as predicted less baseline-predicted deaths. In summary, throughout the 1990s there were on average just under 4000 deaths attributable to influenza annually (for an influenza-attributable mortality rate of 13/100 000 persons), varying from no detectable excess mortality for the 1990/1991 influenza season, to 6000–8000 influenza-attributable deaths for the more severe influenza seasons of 1997/1998 and 1998/1999. On average, 8% (95% CI 7–10) of influenza-attributable deaths were certified as influenza, although this percentage varied from 4% to 12% from year to year. Only 15% of the influenza-attributable deaths were certified as pneumonia, and for all respiratory causes, 40%. Deaths were distributed over most causes. The weekly pattern of influenza-certified deaths was a good predictor of excess all-cause mortality.
In this work, we fabricated near-infrared emitting MOLEDs with two organic layers. The hole transporting layer was N, N′ – di(naphthalene-1-yl) - N,N′- diphenylbenzidine (NPB), while tris(8-hydroxyquinoline) aluminum (Alq) was the emissive and electron transporting layer. The bilayer structure was sandwiched between two silver mirrors. In order to investigate the influence of cavity Q-factor to the emission spectra, devices with different thickness of bottom mirror (anode) were fabricated. The influence of the choice of the bottom mirror (anode) was also investigated, and the devices with copper anode were also fabricated. The devices were characterized by angular dependent electroluminescence, photoluminescence, and transmittance measurements. Possible origins of the observed phenomena are discussed.
Microbial biofilm formation can be influenced by many physiological and genetic factors. The conventional microtiter plate assay provides useful but limited information about biofilm formation. With the fast expansion of the biofilm research field, there are urgent needs for more informative techniques to quantify the major parameters of a biofilm, such as adhesive strength and total biomass. It would be even more ideal if these measurements could be conducted in a real-time, non-invasive manner. In this study, we used quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) and microjet impingement (MJI) to measure total biomass and adhesive strength, respectively, of S. mutans biofilms formed under different sucrose concentrations. In conjunction with confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and the COMSTAT software, we show that sucrose concentration affects the biofilm strength, total biomass, and architecture in both qualitative and quantitative manners. Our data correlate well with previous observations about the effect of sucrose on the adherence of S. mutans to the tooth surface, and demonstrate that QCM is a useful tool for studying the kinetics of biofilm formation in real time and that MJI is a sensitive, easy-to-use device to measure the adhesive strength of a biofilm.
Discharge information for all Hong Kong government hospitals, which is routinely collected through the Clinical Management System (CMS), was used to assess the relative importance of all causes of diarrhoeal illness and to address the issue of under-diagnosis of rotavirus by linking discharge diagnostic codes with actual laboratory results for one hospital. Of all children less than 5 years of age hospitalized in Hong Kong in the 2-year period July 1997 to June 1999, 12257 (11%) were discharged with a primary diarrhoea diagnosis (74% coded as non-specified, 10·4% as rotavirus, 11% as Salmonella and 5% as other viral or bacterial). Linked laboratory and discharge data for one hospital demonstrated that 15% (n=1522) of all admissions had a primary diarrhoea diagnosis and that 40% of these had a specimen sent for rotavirus testing, of which 37% were positive. However, 46% (67/145) of children with a diagnosis of rotavirus infection had no virology result, and 69% (172/248) of positive rotavirus results were in children with no diagnosis indicating rotavirus infection. Modification of the CMS to routinely combine existing computerized laboratory data with the CMS discharge diagnoses and to develop mechanisms to enhance reliability of discharge diagnosis coding could produce a powerful resource for disease surveillance, auditing and for monitoring the impact of future vaccination and other prevention programmes.