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Fish-oil supplements are marketed as enhancing intelligence and cognitive performance. However, empirical data concerning the utility of these products in healthy term infants are mixed, particularly with respect to lasting effects into childhood. We evaluated whether fish-oil supplementation during infancy leads to better neurocognitive/behavioural development at 6 years. We conducted a double-blind randomised controlled trial of supplementation with n-3 long-chain PUFA in 420 healthy term infants. Infants received either fish oil (containing at least 250 mg DHA and at least 60 mg EPA) or placebo (olive oil) daily from birth to 6 months of age. Neurodevelopmental follow-up was conducted at a mean age of 6 years (sd 7 months), whereby 335 children were assessed for language, executive functioning, global intelligence quotient and behaviour. No significant differences were observed between the groups for the main neurocognitive outcomes. However in parent-report questionnaire, fish-oil supplementation was associated with negative externalising (P = 0·035, d = 0·24) and oppositional/defiant behaviour (P = 0·006, d = 0·31), particularly in boys (P = 0·01, d = 0·45; P = 0·004, d = 0·40). Our results provide evidence that fish-oil supplementation to predominantly breast-fed infants confers no significant cognitive or behavioural benefit to children at 6 years.
Fonio (Digitaria exilis (Kippist) Stapf) and Bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea (L.) Verdc.) are native crops grown at a small scale in Mali that have potential to support agricultural productivity under climate change. A community biodiversity management approach was explored in this study as a means to reinforce the cultivation of these crops by increasing farmers' access to intraspecific diversity and developing capacities of community institutions for their management. The research involved six communities in Ségou and Sikasso regions. Multiple varieties of fonio (10–12) and Bambara groundnut (8–12) were established in diversity fields in each site over 2 years where farmers engaged in experiential learning over the crop cycle. Significant adoption of fonio and Bambara groundnut was detected in several study sites. The precise drivers of adoption cannot be definitively determined but likely include increased seed access and awareness gained through the diversity field fora, seed fairs and community seed banks. No significant yield advantage was detected for any of the varieties in the diversity fields, which showed variable performance by site and year. The number of varieties registered and managed by community seed banks in each site increased from 1–5 varieties of each crop to 11–12 varieties following the interventions. The number of Bambara groundnut varieties cultivated in farmers' fields also increased, while there was evidence of a slight decline in fonio diversity in some communities. The results of this study can inform efforts to strengthen seed systems and cultivation of neglected and underutilized species in Africa.
Humans have long held an affinity with bears, and a fascination for their superficial, but remarkable, similarity to people. This allure has even taken the form of worship, or arctolatry. Some have argued that the romantic notions of ancient bear cults and Paleolithic shrines are more the result of taphonomic processes and the imaginations of early discoverers (Wunn 2001). Wunn (2001, 457) concludes, ‘Conceptions of cave bear worship during the early and middle Paleolithic period belong to the realm of legend.’ Not all might agree, but in any case, in the more recent past, bear worship is manifest among ethnic groups across northern Eurasia, stretching from the Basques of the Pyrenees to the Ainu of Hokkaido. Intertwined with these practices is the frequent folk belief that humans descended from bears. For example, the ancient royal lines of Denmark and Sweden are declared to result from a cross between a woman and a bear (Magnus 1555). Indigenous peoples of North America also held the notion that bears and humans can interbreed. For example, the Haida of the Pacific coast of Alaska and Canada hold a tradition of a woman taken as a wife by a bear. The daughter of this pairing eventually returned to live with the Haida, and according to the legend, this primal bear-human goddess is the ancestor of all those entitled to wear the prestigious bear clan crest (Smith 1909).
Bears exhibit notable likenesses to humans in both anatomy and behaviour. Bears walk on plantigrade feet, they can stand upright, they nurse their young from paired pectoral mammae as do humans, they are omnivorous and intelligent, and they have colour vision. Medieval physicians recognized the similarity between bears and humans and, prior to knowledge of the great apes, considered the bear one of the animals most closely related to humans (Pastoureau 2011). Poet and environmental activist Gary Snyder (1990, 175) mused, ‘After you take a bear's coat off, it looks just like a human.’ In fact, as any hunter who has dressed a bear carcass can attest, the resemblance in musculoskeletal anatomy is so striking that some texts on forensic anthropology include specific references to bear skeletal anatomy in order to differentiate it from human remains.
We study whether it is better to enforce the zero lower bound (ZLB) in models of U.S. Treasury yields using a shadow rate model or a quadratic term structure model. We show that the models achieve a similar in-sample fit and perform comparably in matching conditional expectations of future yields. However, when the recent ZLB period is included in the sample, the models’ ability to match conditional expectations away from the ZLB deteriorates because the time-series dynamics of the pricing factors change. In addition, neither model provides a reasonable description of conditional volatilities when yields are away from the ZLB.
This study reports data from teachers in regular classrooms about their experiences of inclusion for 143 young children with disabilities. Children were recruited from early intervention programs and their experiences were tracked across 3 years, from a Preparatory year to Year 2 of school. Children's teachers rated the appropriateness of the child's placement in their classroom as high to very high. However, most teachers rated the resources and supports available to support inclusion as only adequate. Teachers perceived a range of benefits for the child, peers, and themselves from inclusion but also identified significant challenges, including time pressures and increased responsibilities, as well as various behavioural and developmental concerns that had an impact on all children's learning. Challenges identified deserve continued attention for successful inclusive practice.
This study aimed to assess the experiences and outcomes of patients who underwent surgical repair of a perilymph fistula in Norfolk, UK.
The study involved a retrospective questionnaire-based patient survey and case note review of patients who had undergone tympanotomy and perilymph fistula repair between 1998 and 2012 in two district general hospitals.
Fourteen patients underwent 20 procedures, of whom 7 completed the pre- and post-operative Vertigo Symptom Scale. In five patients, there was no obvious precipitating cause. Perilymph fistula was precipitated by noise in one patient, by a pressure-increasing event in six patients and by trauma in two patients. The Vertigo Symptom Scale scores showed a statistically significant improvement following surgical repair, from a median of 67 (out of 175) pre-operatively to 19 post-operatively.
In selected patients with vertigo, perilymph fistula should be considered; surgical repair can significantly improve symptoms.
n-3 Long-chain PUFA (LC-PUFA) intake during infancy is important for neurodevelopment; however, previous studies of n-3 LC-PUFA supplementation have been inconclusive possibly due to an insufficient dose and limited methods of assessment. The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of direct supplementation with high-dose fish oil (FO) on infant neurodevelopmental outcomes and language. In the present randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 420 healthy term infants were assigned to receive a DHA-enriched FO supplement (containing at least 250 mg DHA/d and 60 mg EPA/d) or a placebo (olive oil) from birth to 6 months. Assessment occurred at 18 months via the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development (3rd edition; BSID-III) and the Child Behavior Checklist. Language assessment occurred at 12 and 18 months via the Macarthur–Bates Communicative Development Inventory. The FO group had significantly higher erythrocyte DHA (P = 0·03) and plasma phospholipid DHA (P = 0·01) levels at 6 months of age relative to placebo. In a small subset analysis (about 40 % of the total population), children in the FO group had significantly higher percentile ranks of both later developing gestures at 12 and 18 months (P = 0·007; P = 0·002, respectively) and the total number of gestures (P = 0·023; P = 0·006, respectively). There was no significant difference between the groups in the standard or composite scores of the BSID-III. The results suggest that improved postnatal n-3 LC-PUFA intake in the first 6 months of life using high-dose infant FO supplementation was not beneficial to global infant neurodevelopment. However, some indication of benefits to early communicative development was observed.
This chapter examines the evidence and methods of uterine cavity evaluation and the structural abnormalities that may compromise in vitro fertilization (IVF) success. The gold standard method for the evaluation of the uterine cavity is direct visualization with hysteroscopy. One of the most commonly encountered uterine cavity abnormalities is endometrial polyps. Müllerian anomalies are structural developmental abnormalities of the female reproductive system. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) staging system classifies these abnormalities into hypoplastic/agenesis, unicornuate, didelphus, bicornuate, septate, arcuate, and DES-related. Uterine septae form from incomplete absorption of the intervening tissue as the two Müllerian ducts fuse. The arcuate uterus occurs when there is a mild extension from the uterine fundus caudally. Myomas are the most common benign tumor of the female reproductive system. Finally, the chapter describes a comprehensive diagnostic and treatment algorithm for patients with Asherman's syndrome (AS).
Clomiphene citrate (CC) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) are the two main modalities used for ovarian stimulation (OS). Decisions are based not only on randomized clinical trials (RCT), but also on other basic science and clinical evidence supporting their use. This chapter presents the effectiveness of adjuncts in enhancing outcomes in women having OS for in-vitro fertilization (IVF). The adjuncts include leuprolide acetate (LA) and gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists, oral contraceptive (OC) pretreatment, estrogen pretreatment, dexamethasone (DEX), metformin (Met), human chorionic gonadotropin, aspirin (ASA), growth hormone (GH), dopamine agonists, and androgens and androgenic drugs. Most of these adjuncts are medications approved for other uses but not specifically as adjuncts for OS. The risk/benefit ratio in their use is quite favourable. Adjuncts aimed at improving ovarian response by increasing ovarian androgen concentrations appear to have real promise, but require further well-controlled studies to verify their effectiveness.