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How did Brittany get its name and its British-Celtic language in the centuries after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire? Beginning in the ninth century, scholars have proposed a succession of theories about Breton origins, influenced by the changing relationships between Brittany, its Continental neighbours, and the 'Atlantic Archipelago' during and after the Viking age and the Norman Conquest. However, due to limited records, the history of medieval Brittany remains a relatively neglected area of research. In this new volume, the authors draw on specialised research in the history of language and literature, archaeology, and the cult of saints, to tease apart the layers of myth and historical record. Brittany retained a distinctive character within the typical 'medieval' forces of kingship, lordship, and ecclesiastical hierarchy. The early history of Brittany is richly fascinating, and this new investigation offers a fresh perspective on the region and early medieval Europe in general.
Arising from the 2019 Darwin College Lectures, this book presents essays from seven prominent public intellectuals on the theme of vision. Each author examines this theme through the lens of their own particular area of expertise, making for a lively interdisciplinary volume including chapters on neuroscience, colour perception, biological evolution, astronomy, the future of technology, computer vision, and the visionary core of science. Featuring contributions by professors of neuroscience Paul Fletcher and Anya Hurlbert, professor of zoology Dan-Eric Nilsson, the futurist Sophie Hackford, Microsoft distinguished scientist Andrew Blake, theoretical physicist and author Carlo Rovelli, and Dr Carolin Crawford, the Public Astronomer at the University of Cambridge, this volume will be of interest to anybody curious about how we see the world.
This paper integrates the first rock art directly dated with radiocarbon (14C) in Southeast Asia with the archaeological activity in the area and with stylistically similar rock art in the region. Peñablanca is a hotspot of archaeological research that includes the oldest dates for human remains in the Philippines. The caves in Peñablanca with known rock art were revisited and only 37.6% of the original recorded figures were found; the others are likely lost to agents of deterioration. A sample was collected from an anthropomorph and accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) dated to 3570–3460 cal BP. The date corresponds to archaeological activity in the area and provides a more holistic view of the people inhabiting the Peñablanca caves at that time. A systematic review was used to find similar black anthropomorph motifs in Southeast Asia to identify potential connections across the region and provide a possible chronological association.
To explore the effect of maternal BMI class pre-pregnancy (overweight/obese v. healthy weight/underweight) on childhood diet quality and on childhood overweight/obesity risk.
Dietary data were collected using 3-d parental-completed food records for their children at ages 18 and 43 months. An index of diet quality was derived by classification of food items into core and non-core foods. Adjusted multiple linear regression analyses were used to explore the effect of maternal BMI class on diet quality in their children.
A 10% subsample of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Nine-hundred and eighty children provided complete dietary data at 18 months and 769 at 43 months.
Children with overweight/obese mothers consumed greater amounts of energy from non-core foods than children with healthy weight/underweight mothers (0·20 MJ (48 kcal)/d more at 18 months (P < 0·001); 0·19 MJ (45 kcal)/d more at 43 months (P = 0·008)) in adjusted models. Diet quality deteriorated between 18 and 43 months (children reduced their dietary energy intake from core foods (P < 0·001) and increased intake from non-core foods (P < 0·001)). However, this change was not associated with maternal BMI class in adjusted models. Having an overweight/obese mother was associated with an increased odds of the child being overweight/obese at 43 months (OR 1·74 (1·17, 2·58)).
Children aged 18 and 43 months with overweight/obese mothers are likely to have a poorer quality diet than those with healthy/underweight mothers. Parents should be supported in discouraging the consumption of non-core foods in children at these ages.
The occurrence of early childhood adversity is strongly linked to later self-harm, but there is poor understanding of how this distal risk factor might influence later behaviours. One possible mechanism is through an earlier onset of puberty in children exposed to adversity, since early puberty is associated with an increased risk of adolescent self-harm. We investigated whether early pubertal timing mediates the association between childhood adversity and later self-harm.
Participants were 6698 young people from a UK population-based birth cohort (ALSPAC). We measured exposure to nine types of adversity from 0 to 9 years old, and self-harm when participants were aged 16 and 21 years. Pubertal timing measures were age at peak height velocity (aPHV – males and females) and age at menarche (AAM). We used generalised structural equation modelling for analyses.
For every additional type of adversity; participants had an average 12–14% increased risk of self-harm by 16. Relative risk (RR) estimates were stronger for direct effects when outcomes were self-harm with suicidal intent. There was no evidence that earlier pubertal timing mediated the association between adversity and self-harm [indirect effect RR 1.00, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.00–1.00 for aPHV and RR 1.00, 95% CI 1.00–1.01 for AAM].
A cumulative measure of exposure to multiple types of adversity does not confer an increased risk of self-harm via early pubertal timing, however both childhood adversity and early puberty are risk factors for later self-harm. Research identifying mechanisms underlying the link between childhood adversity and later self-harm is needed to inform interventions.
To conduct a pilot study implementing combined genomic and epidemiologic surveillance for hospital-acquired multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) to predict transmission between patients and to estimate the local burden of MDRO transmission.
Pilot prospective multicenter surveillance study.
The study was conducted in 8 university hospitals (2,800 beds total) in Melbourne, Australia (population 4.8 million), including 4 acute-care, 1 specialist cancer care, and 3 subacute-care hospitals.
All clinical and screening isolates from hospital inpatients (April 24 to June 18, 2017) were collected for 6 MDROs: vanA VRE, MRSA, ESBL Escherichia coli (ESBL-Ec) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (ESBL-Kp), and carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (CRPa) and Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAb). Isolates were analyzed and reported as routine by hospital laboratories, underwent whole-genome sequencing at the central laboratory, and were analyzed using open-source bioinformatic tools. MDRO burden and transmission were assessed using combined genomic and epidemiologic data.
In total, 408 isolates were collected from 358 patients; 47.5% were screening isolates. ESBL-Ec was most common (52.5%), then MRSA (21.6%), vanA VRE (15.7%), and ESBL-Kp (7.6%). Most MDROs (88.3%) were isolated from patients with recent healthcare exposure.
Combining genomics and epidemiology identified that at least 27.1% of MDROs were likely acquired in a hospital; most of these transmission events would not have been detected without genomics. The highest proportion of transmission occurred with vanA VRE (88.4% of patients).
Genomic and epidemiologic data from multiple institutions can feasibly be combined prospectively, providing substantial insights into the burden and distribution of MDROs, including in-hospital transmission. This analysis enables infection control teams to target interventions more effectively.
The determinants of quality of life (QoL) in schizophrenia are largely debated, mainly due to methodological discrepancies and divergence about the concepts concerned. As most studies have investigated bi- or tri-variate models, a multivariate model accounting for simultaneous potential mediations is necessary to have a comprehensive view of the determinants of QOL. We sought to estimate the associations between cognitive reserve, cognition, functioning, insight, depression, schizophrenic symptoms, and QoL in schizophrenia and their potential mediation relationships.
We used structural equation modeling with mediation analyses to test a model based on existing literature in a sample of 776 patients with schizophrenia from the FondaMental Foundation FACE-SZ cohort.
Our model showed a good fit to the data. We found better functioning to be positively associated with a better QoL, whereas better cognition, better insight, higher levels of depression, and schizophrenic symptoms were associated with a lower QoL in our sample. Cognitive reserve is not directly linked to QoL, but indirectly in a negative manner via cognition. We confirm the negative relationship between cognition and subjective QoL which was previously evidenced by other studies; moreover, this relationship seems to be robust as it survived in our multivariate model. It was not explained by insight as some suggested, thus the mechanism at stake remains to be explained.
The pathways to subjective QoL in schizophrenia are complex and the determinants largely influence each other. Longitudinal studies are warranted to confirm these cross-sectional findings.
Smoking contributes to health inequalities for people with severe mental illness (SMI). Although smoking cessation interventions are effective in the short term, there are few long-term trial-based estimates of abstinence. The SCIMITAR trials programme includes the largest trial to date of a smoking cessation intervention for people with SMI, but this was underpowered to detect anticipated long-term quit rates. By pooling pilot and full-trial data we found that quit rates were maintained at 12 months (OR = 1.67, 95% CI 1.02–2.73, P = 0.04). Policymakers can now be confident that bespoke smoking cessation interventions produce successful short- and long-term quitting.
Longitudinal studies of the relationship between cognition and functioning in bipolar disorder are scarce, although cognition is thought to be a key determinant of functioning. The causal structure between cognition and psychosocial functioning in bipolar disorder is unknown.
We sought to examine the direction of causality between cognitive performance and functional outcome over 2 years in a large cohort of euthymic patients with bipolar disorder.
The sample consisted of 272 adults diagnosed with bipolar disorder who were euthymic at baseline, 12 and 24 months. All participants were recruited via the FondaMental Advanced Centers of Expertise in Bipolar Disorders. We used a battery of tests, assessing six domains of cognition at baseline and 24 months. Residual depressive symptoms and psychosocial functioning were measured at baseline and 12 and 24 months. The possible causal structure between cognition and psychosocial functioning was investigated with cross-lagged panel models with residual depressive symptoms as a covariate.
The analyses support a causal model in which cognition moderately predicts and is causally primary to functional outcome 1 year later, whereas psychosocial functioning does not predict later cognitive performance. Subthreshold depressive symptoms concurrently affected functioning at each time of measure.
Our results are compatible with an upward causal effect of cognition on functional outcome in euthymic patients with bipolar disorder. Neuropsychological assessment may help specify individual prognoses. Further studies are warranted to confirm this causal link and evaluate cognitive remediation, before or simultaneously with functional remediation, as an intervention to improve functional outcome.
The evolutionary basis for clinical depression is not well understood. A growing body of literature that is not based on evolutionary logic links inflammation to depression. Integration of these findings with an evolutionary framework for depression, however, needs to address the reasons why the body's inflammatory response would be regulated so poorly that it would result in incapacitating depression. Pathogen induction of inflammation offers an explanation, but the extent to which the association between inflammation and depression can be attributed to general inflammation as opposed to particular effects of pro-inflammatory pathogens remains unclear. This paper reports a study of sexually transmitted pathogens, which addresses this issue. Although several sexually transmitted pathogens were associated with depression according to bivariate tests, only Chlamydia trachomatis and Trichomonas vaginalis were significantly associated with depression by a multivariate analysis that accounted for correlations among the pathogens. This finding is consistent with the hypothesis that infection may contribute to depression through induction of tryptophan restriction, and a consequent depletion of serotonin. It reinforces the idea that some depression may be caused by specific pathogens in specific evolutionary arms races with their human host.
Defined as the co-occurrence of more than two chronic conditions, multi-morbidity has been described as a significant health care problem: a trend linked to a rise in non-communicable disease and an ageing population. Evidence on the experiences of living with multi-morbidity in middle-income countries (MICs) is limited. In high-income countries (HICs), multi-morbidity has a complex impact on health outcomes, including functional status, disability and quality of life, complexity of health care and burden of treatment. Previous evidence also shows that multi-morbidity is consistently higher amongst women. This study aimed to explore the perceptions and experiences of women living with multi-morbidity in the Greater Accra Region, Ghana: to understand the complexity of their health needs due to multi-morbidity, and to document how the health system has responded. Guided by the Cumulative Complexity Model, and using stratified purposive sampling, 20 in-depth interviews were conducted between May and September 2015 across three polyclinics in the Greater Accra Region. The data were analysed using the six phases of Thematic Analysis. Overall four themes emerged: 1) the influences on patients’ health experience; 2) seeking care and the responsiveness of the health care system; 3) how patients manage health care demands; and 4) outcomes due to health. Spirituality and the stigmatization caused by specific conditions, such as HIV, impacted their overall health experience. Women depended on the care and treatment provided through the health care system despite inconsistent coverage and a lack of choice thereof, although their experiences varied by chronic condition. Women depended on their family and community to offset the financial burden of treatment costs, which was exacerbated by having many conditions. The implications are that integrated health and social support, such as streamlining procedures and professional training on managing complexity, would benefit and reduce the burden of multi-morbidity experienced by women with multi-morbidity in Ghana.
Self-criticism is a ubiquitous feature of psychopathology and can be
combatted by increasing levels of self-compassion. However, some patients
are resistant to self-compassion.
To investigate whether the effects of self-identification with virtual
bodies within immersive virtual reality could be exploited to increase
self-compassion in patients with depression.
We developed an 8-minute scenario in which 15 patients practised
delivering compassion in one virtual body and then experienced receiving
it from themselves in another virtual body.
In an open trial, three repetitions of this scenario led to significant
reductions in depression severity and self-criticism, as well as to a
significant increase in self-compassion, from baseline to 4-week
follow-up. Four patients showed clinically significant improvement.
The results indicate that interventions using immersive virtual reality
may have considerable clinical potential and that further development of
these methods preparatory to a controlled trial is now warranted.
A controversy at the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress on the topic of closing domestic ivory markets (the 007, or so-called James Bond, motion) has given rise to a debate on IUCN's value proposition. A cross-section of authors who are engaged in IUCN but not employed by the organization, and with diverse perspectives and opinions, here argue for the importance of safeguarding and strengthening the unique technical and convening roles of IUCN, providing examples of what has and has not worked. Recommendations for protecting and enhancing IUCN's contribution to global conservation debates and policy formulation are given.