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Adipocytokines, which are secreted during fetal development by both mothers and fetuses, may influence fetal lung development, but little human data are available. We used data from the HOME Study to investigate the associations of cord blood adipocytokine concentrations with children’s lung forced expiratory volume (FEV1; N = 160) and their risk of wheeze (N = 281). We measured umbilical cord serum adipocytokine concentrations using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and FEV1 using a portable spirometer at ages 4 and 5 to calculate the percent predicted FEV1 (%FEV1). Parents completed standardized questionnaires of their child’s wheeze symptoms every 6 months from birth to age 5, then again at ages 6 and 8. We used multivariable linear mixed models and modified Poisson regression with generalized estimating equations to estimate associations of adipocytokine concentrations (log2-transformed) with children’s %FEV1 and the risk of wheeze, respectively, adjusting for sociodemographic, perinatal, and child factors. Cord serum leptin was not associated with children’s %FEV1. Higher cord serum adiponectin concentrations were associated with higher %FEV1 in girls (β = 3.1, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.6, 5.6), but not in boys (β = −1.3, 95% CI: −5.9, 3.3) (sex × adiponectin p-value = 0.05). Higher leptin was associated with lower risk of wheeze in girls (RR = 0.74, 95% CI: 0.66, 0.84), but not boys (RR = 0.87, 95% CI: 0.69, 1.11) (sex × leptin p-value = 0.01). In contrast, higher adiponectin concentrations were associated with lower risk of wheeze (RR = 0.84, 95% CI: 0.73, 0.96) in both boys and girls. These data suggest that fetal adipocytokines may impact lung development and function in early childhood. Future studies are needed to confirm these findings and explore the mechanisms underlying these associations.
This paper brings a constitutional economics perspective to bear on the World Health Organization (WHO), the flagship United Nations intergovernmental health organisation, which is obligated by its Constitution to achieve ‘the highest possible level of health’ for the world's peoples. The WHO has in the seven decades of its existence used its formidable legislative powers only sparingly. It has been widely chided for being weak in regional coordination and unresponsive to transnational emergencies like the West African Ebola outbreak of 2014–2016. In 2020, it found itself at the centre of the COVID-19 pandemic and in the middle of the Sino-American geopolitical tug-of-war. This paper traces the discordance between the Constitution's stated purposes and the actual track record of the WHO not back to its organisational culture nor to weak leadership but to the design of the Constitution itself. It analytically distinguishes the Constitution's expressive from its instrumental halves, and shows that, whilst the former embodies a ‘constitutional moment’ of international health solidarity right after the Second World War, the latter embodies a reserved and limited delegation from member-states that are jealous of their sovereignty.
Cognitive disturbances are common and disabling features of major depressive disorder (MDD). Previous studies provide limited insight into the co-occurrence of hot (emotion-dependent) and cold (emotion-independent) cognitive disturbances in MDD. Therefore, we here map both hot and cold cognition in depressed patients compared to healthy individuals.
We collected neuropsychological data from 92 antidepressant-free MDD patients and 103 healthy controls. All participants completed a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery assessing hot cognition including emotion processing, affective verbal memory and social cognition as well as cold cognition including verbal and working memory and reaction time.
The depressed patients showed small to moderate negative affective biases on emotion processing outcomes, moderate increases in ratings of guilt and shame and moderate deficits in verbal and working memory as well as moderately slowed reaction time compared to healthy controls. We observed no correlations between individual cognitive tasks and depression severity in the depressed patients. Lastly, an exploratory cluster analysis suggested the presence of three cognitive profiles in MDD: one characterised predominantly by disturbed hot cognitive functions, one characterised predominantly by disturbed cold cognitive functions and one characterised by global impairment across all cognitive domains. Notably, the three cognitive profiles differed in depression severity.
We identified a pattern of small to moderate disturbances in both hot and cold cognition in MDD. While none of the individual cognitive outcomes mapped onto depression severity, cognitive profile clusters did. Overall cognition-based stratification tools may be useful in precision medicine approaches to MDD.
Seasonal influenza virus epidemics have a major impact on healthcare systems. Data on population susceptibility to emerging influenza virus strains during the interepidemic period can guide planning for resource allocation of an upcoming influenza season. This study sought to assess the population susceptibility to representative emerging influenza virus strains collected during the interepidemic period. The microneutralisation antibody titers (MN titers) of a human serum panel against representative emerging influenza strains collected during the interepidemic period before the 2018/2019 winter influenza season (H1N1-inter and H3N2-inter) were compared with those against influenza strains representative of previous epidemics (H1N1-pre and H3N2-pre). A multifaceted approach, incorporating both genetic and antigenic data, was used in selecting these representative influenza virus strains for the MN assay. A significantly higher proportion of individuals had a ⩾four-fold reduction in MN titers between H1N1-inter and H1N1-pre than that between H3N2-inter and H3N2-pre (28.5% (127/445) vs. 4.9% (22/445), P < 0.001). The geometric mean titer (GMT) of H1N1-inter was significantly lower than that of H1N1-pre (381 (95% CI 339–428) vs. 713 (95% CI 641–792), P < 0.001), while there was no significant difference in the GMT between H3N2-inter and H3N2-pre. Since A(H1N1) predominated the 2018–2019 winter influenza epidemic, our results corroborated the epidemic subtype.
Non-tuberculous mycobacterium encephalitis is rare. Since 2013, a global outbreak of Mycobacterium chimaera infection has been attributed to point-source contamination of heater cooler units used in cardiac surgery. Disseminated M. chimaera infection has presented many unique challenges, including non-specific clinical presentations with delays in diagnosis, and a high mortality rate among predominantly immunocompetent adults. Here, we describe three patients with fatal disseminated Mycobacterium chimaera infection showing initially non-specific, progressively worsening neurocognitive decline, including confusion, delirium, depression and apathy. Autopsy revealed widespread granulomatous encephalitis of the cerebrum, brain stem and spinal cord, along with granulomatous chorioretinitis. Cerebral involvement and differentiation between mycobacterial granulomas and microangiopathic changes can be assessed best on MRI with contrast enhancement. The prognosis of M. chimaera encephalitis appears to be very poor, but might be improved by increased awareness of this new syndrome and timely antimicrobial treatment.
This presentation will enable the learner to:
1. Describe the clinical, radiological and neuropathological findings of Mycobacterium chimaera encephalitis
2. Be aware of this rare form of encephalitis, and explain its diagnosis, prognosis and management
This is the first book that focuses on the entrenched, fundamental divergence between the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal and Macau's Tribunal de Última Instância over their constitutional jurisprudence, with the former repeatedly invalidating unconstitutional legislation with finality and the latter having never challenged the constitutionality of legislation at all. This divergence is all the more remarkable when considered in the light of the fact that the two Regions, commonly subject to oversight by China's authoritarian Party-state, possess constitutional frameworks that are nearly identical; feature similar hybrid regimes; and share a lot in history, ethnicity, culture, and language. Informed by political science and economics, this book breaks new ground by locating the cause of this anomaly, studied within the universe of authoritarian constitutionalism, not in the common law-civil law differences between these two former European dependencies, but the disparate levels of political transaction costs therein.