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To investigate the current epidemiology of melioidosis in Yangon, Myanmar, between June 2017 and May 2019 we conducted enhanced surveillance for melioidosis in four tertiary hospitals in Yangon, where the disease was first discovered in 1911. Oxidase-positive Gram-negative rods were obtained from the microbiology laboratories and further analysed at the Department of Medical Research. Analysis included culture on Ashdown agar, the three disc sensitivity test (gentamicin, colistin and co-amoxiclav), latex agglutination, API 20 NE, antibiotic susceptibility testing, and a subset underwent molecular confirmation with a Burkholderia pseudomallei specific assay. Twenty one of 364 isolates (5.7%) were confirmed as B. pseudomallei and were mostly susceptible to the antibiotics used in standard therapy for melioidosis. Ten patients were from Yangon Region, nine were from Ayeyarwaddy region, and one each was from Kayin and Rakhine States. A history of soil contact was given by seven patients, five had diabetes mellitus and one had renal insufficiency. The patients presented with septicaemia (12 cases), pneumonia (three cases), urinary tract infection (two cases) and wound infection (four cases). Eighteen patients survived to hospital discharge. This study highlights the likelihood that melioidosis may be far more common, but underdiagnosed, in more rural parts of Myanmar as in other countries in SE Asia.
Concerns have been raised about the utility of self-report assessments in predicting future suicide attempts. Clinicians in pediatric emergency departments (EDs) often are required to assess suicidal risk. The Death Implicit Association Test (IAT) is an alternative to self-report assessment of suicidal risk that may have utility in ED settings.
A total of 1679 adolescents recruited from 13 pediatric emergency rooms in the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network were assessed using a self-report survey of risk and protective factors for a suicide attempt, and the IAT, and then followed up 3 months later to determine if an attempt had occurred. The accuracy of prediction was compared between self-reports and the IAT using the area under the curve (AUC) with respect to receiver operator characteristics.
A few self-report variables, namely, current and past suicide ideation, past suicidal behavior, total negative life events, and school or social connectedness, predicted an attempt at 3 months with an AUC of 0.87 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.84–0.90] in the entire sample, and AUC = 0.91, (95% CI 0.85–0.95) for those who presented without reported suicidal ideation. The IAT did not add significantly to the predictive power of selected self-report variables. The IAT alone was modestly predictive of 3-month attempts in the overall sample ((AUC = 0.59, 95% CI 0.52–0.65) and was a better predictor in patients who were non-suicidal at baseline (AUC = 0.67, 95% CI 0.55–0.79).
In pediatric EDs, a small set of self-reported items predicted suicide attempts within 3 months more accurately than did the IAT.
Diagnosis of prodromal Alzheimer's disease and Alzheimer's disease dementia in people with Down syndrome is a major challenge. The Cambridge Examination for Mental Disorders of Older People with Down's Syndrome and Others with Intellectual Disabilities (CAMDEX-DS) has been validated for diagnosing prodromal Alzheimer's disease and Alzheimer's disease dementia, but the diagnostic process lacks guidance.
To derive CAMDEX-DS informant interview threshold scores to enable accurate diagnosis of prodromal Alzheimer's disease and Alzheimer's disease dementia in adults with Down syndrome.
Psychiatrists classified participants with Down syndrome into no dementia, prodromal Alzheimer's disease and Alzheimer's disease dementia groups. Receiver operating characteristic analyses assessed the diagnostic accuracy of CAMDEX-DS informant interview-derived scores. Spearman partial correlations investigated associations between CAMDEX-DS scores, regional Aβ binding (positron emission tomography) and regional cortical thickness (magnetic resonance imaging).
Diagnostic performance of CAMDEX-DS total scores were high for Alzheimer's disease dementia (area under the curve (AUC), 0.998; 95% CI 0.953–0.999) and prodromal Alzheimer's disease (AUC = 0.954; 95% CI 0.887–0.982) when compared with healthy adults with Down syndrome. When compared with those with mental health conditions but no Alzheimer's disease, CAMDEX-DS Section B scores, denoting memory and orientation ability, accurately diagnosed Alzheimer's disease dementia (AUC = 0.958; 95% CI 0.892–0.984), but were unable to diagnose prodromal Alzheimer's disease. CAMDEX-DS total scores exhibited moderate correlations with cortical Aβ (r ~ 0.4 to 0.6, P ≤ 0.05) and thickness (r ~ −0.4 to −0.44, P ≤ 0.05) in specific regions.
CAMDEX-DS total score accurately diagnoses Alzheimer's disease dementia and prodromal Alzheimer's disease in healthy adults with Down syndrome.
Debate on the use of lagged dependent variables has a long history in political science. The latest contribution to this discussion is Wilkins (2018, Political Science Research and Methods, 6, 393–411), which advocates the use of an ADL(2,1) model when there is serial dependence in the outcome and disturbance. While this specification does offer some insurance against serially correlated disturbances, this is never the best (linear unbiased estimator) approach and should not be pursued as a general strategy. First, this strategy is only appropriate when the data-generating process (DGP) actually implies a more parsimonious model. Second, when this is not the DGP—e.g., lags of the predictors have independent effects—this strategy mischaracterizes the dynamic process. We clarify this issue and detail a Wald test that can be used to evaluate the appropriateness of the Wilkins approach. In general, we argue that researchers need to always: (i) ensure models are dynamically complete and (ii) test whether more restrictive models are appropriate.
The first demonstration of laser action in ruby was made in 1960 by T. H. Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories, USA. Many laboratories worldwide began the search for lasers using different materials, operating at different wavelengths. In the UK, academia, industry and the central laboratories took up the challenge from the earliest days to develop these systems for a broad range of applications. This historical review looks at the contribution the UK has made to the advancement of the technology, the development of systems and components and their exploitation over the last 60 years.
Treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD) is imprecise and often involves trial-and-error to determine the most effective approach. To facilitate optimal treatment selection and inform timely adjustment, the current study investigated whether neurocognitive variables could predict an antidepressant response in a treatment-specific manner.
In the two-stage Establishing Moderators and Biosignatures of Antidepressant Response for Clinical Care (EMBARC) trial, outpatients with non-psychotic recurrent MDD were first randomized to an 8-week course of sertraline selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or placebo. Behavioral measures of reward responsiveness, cognitive control, verbal fluency, psychomotor, and cognitive processing speeds were collected at baseline and week 1. Treatment responders then continued on another 8-week course of the same medication, whereas non-responders to sertraline or placebo were crossed-over under double-blinded conditions to bupropion noradrenaline/dopamine reuptake inhibitor or sertraline, respectively. Hamilton Rating for Depression scores were also assessed at baseline, weeks 8, and 16.
Greater improvements in psychomotor and cognitive processing speeds within the first week, as well as better pretreatment performance in these domains, were specifically associated with higher likelihood of response to placebo. Moreover, better reward responsiveness, poorer cognitive control and greater verbal fluency were associated with greater likelihood of response to bupropion in patients who previously failed to respond to sertraline.
These exploratory results warrant further scrutiny, but demonstrate that quick and non-invasive behavioral tests may have substantial clinical value in predicting antidepressant treatment response.
Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is associated with functional limitations that can impair mobility and reduce quality of life in affected individuals. Excess body weight in OA can exacerbate impaired physical function, highlighting the importance of weight management in this population. The aim of this systematic review was to compare the effects of different dietary interventions for weight loss on physical function in overweight and obese individuals with OA.
A comprehensive search of five databases was conducted to identify relevant articles for inclusion. Studies were included that examined the effect of dietary weight loss interventions, with or without exercise, on physical function in adults with OA who were overweight or obese. Quality and risk of bias were assessed using the Quality Criteria Checklist for primary research. Primary and secondary outcomes were extracted, including change in weight and physical function which included performance-based and self-report measures.
Nineteen relevant studies were included, which incorporated lifestyle interventions (n 8), diet in combination with meal replacements (DMR; n 5) and very low-energy diets (VLED; n 6) using meal replacements only. Pooled data for eight RCT indicated a mean difference in Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index (WOMAC) physical function of 12·4 and 12·5 % following DMR or VLED interventions, respectively; however, no statistically significant change was detected for lifestyle interventions.
Our findings suggest that partial use of meal replacements is as effective as their sole use in the more restrictive VLED. Both dietary interventions are more effective than lifestyle programmes to induce significant weight loss and improvements in physical function.
Little is known internationally about return to prison from in-patient psychiatric services, including: circumstances leading to return, aftercare services and subsequent patient outcomes.
To examine and describe: (a) circumstances leading to return to prison from medium secure services; (b) available aftercare and early outcomes of returned persons; and (c) implications for policy development.
Prospective cohort design with all patients (n = 96) returned to prisons from 33 National Health Service (NHS) medium secure services over a 6-month period in England and Wales. Follow-up was conducted for 1 year post-remittal, across 60 prisons.
Less than 20% of patients with legal entitlement to section 117 aftercare under the Mental Health Act 1983 were receiving care managed/delivered via the care programme approach. Subsequent pathways included: inter-prison transfer (30%), use of the Assessment, Care in Custody and Teamwork process (49%), referral to secure services (21%) and community release (30%). Less than half of community releases were referred to a community mental health team.
Findings suggest that persons returned to prison are a vulnerable group of patients, many of whom require intervention (e.g. enhanced monitoring, admission to a healthcare wing, readmission to secure mental health services) on return to prison in the absence of targeted aftercare services. More robust guidance for discharge and aftercare planning procedures for persons remitted to prison should be developed to ensure that the benefits of in-patient admission are maintained and that individuals’ legal rights to ongoing aftercare are upheld.
Adolescent dieting and disordered eating (DE) are risks for clinical eating disorders. In this five-wave longitudinal study, we tested gender-specific models linking early risk factors to temporal patterns of DE, considering appearance anxiety as a mediator. Participants were 384 Australian students (age 10 to 13; 45% boys) who reported their purging and skipping meals, experience with appearance-related teasing, media pressure, and appearance anxiety. Parents reported pubertal maturation and height/weight was measured. Gender differences in temporal patterns of DE were found and predictive models were tested using latent-variable growth curve and path models. Boys’ DE was generally stable over time; girls showed stability in purging but an average increase in skipping meals. Peer teasing, media pressure, and pubertal maturation were associated with more elevated initial DE in girls, and pubertal maturation was associated with a steeper increase in DE. For boys, body mass index had a direct positive association with DE. Appearance anxiety was associated with more DE, but there was only one significant indirect effect via anxiety, which was for boys’ pubertal maturation. Findings support the dominant role of social interactions and messages, as well as pubertal maturation, for girls’ DE and the prominence of physical risk factors for explaining boys’ DE.
Polyhalite is a multi-nutrient mineral ore containing potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg) and sulphur (S). Historically, it has enjoyed minor use as a fertilizer, but the opening of a new mine in the UK will make larger quantities available. Therefore, an examination of the performance of crops fertilized with polyhalite, or selected commercial alternatives, was pertinent and is reported here.
Four field trials were carried out between 2013 and 2016 to investigate the response of winter barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) and forage maize (Zea mays L.) to different application rates of polyhalite, potassium chloride (muriate of potash, MOP) and potassium sulphate (sulphate of potash, SOP) fertilizers. Potassium and S nutrition were the focus of these trials as they limit field production more often than Mg and Ca.
Polyhalite was found to be an effective source of both K and S for crop production. In three out of four trials, application of polyhalite resulted in similar or greater K offtake compared with both MOP and SOP; MOP application resulted in greater K offtake in one trial. In three out of four trials, application of polyhalite resulted in similar or better S offtake compared with both MOP and SOP; SOP application resulted in greater S offtake in one trial. Polyhalite and MOP treatments produced similar total dry weight in all four trials, but were slightly inferior to SOP treatment.
Online learning has become an increasingly expected and popular component for education of the modern-day adult learner, including the medical provider. In light of the recent coronavirus pandemic, there has never been more urgency to establish opportunities for supplemental online learning. Heart University aims to be “the go-to online resource” for e-learning in CHD and paediatric-acquired heart disease. It is a carefully curated open access library of paedagogical material for all providers of care to children and adults with CHD or children with acquired heart disease, whether a trainee or a practising provider. In this manuscript, we review the aims, development, current offerings and standing, and future goals of Heart University.
This study sought to compare disease recidivism rates between canal wall up mastoidectomy and a canal wall down with obliteration technique.
Patients undergoing primary cholesteatoma surgery at our institution over a five-year period (2013–2017) using the aforementioned techniques were eligible for inclusion in the study. Rates of discharge and disease recidivism were analysed using chi-square statistics.
A total of 104 ears (98 patients) were included. The mean follow-up period was 30 months (range, 12–52 months). A canal wall down with mastoid obliteration technique was performed in 55 cases and a canal wall up approach was performed in 49 cases. Disease recidivism rates were 7.3 per cent and 16.3 per cent in the canal wall down with mastoid obliteration and canal wall up groups respectively (p = 0.02), whilst discharge rates were similar (7.3 per cent and 10.2 per cent respectively).
Our direct comparative data suggest that canal wall down mastoidectomy with obliteration is superior to a canal wall up technique in primary cholesteatoma surgery, providing a lower recidivism rate combined with a low post-operative ear discharge rate.
Cognitive deficits in depressed adults may reflect impaired decision-making. To investigate this possibility, we analyzed data from unmedicated adults with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and healthy controls as they performed a probabilistic reward task. The Hierarchical Drift Diffusion Model (HDDM) was used to quantify decision-making mechanisms recruited by the task, to determine if any such mechanism was disrupted by depression.
Data came from two samples (Study 1: 258 MDD, 36 controls; Study 2: 23 MDD, 25 controls). On each trial, participants indicated which of two similar stimuli was presented; correct identifications were rewarded. Quantile-probability plots and the HDDM quantified the impact of MDD on response times (RT), speed of evidence accumulation (drift rate), and the width of decision thresholds, among other parameters.
RTs were more positively skewed in depressed v. healthy adults, and the HDDM revealed that drift rates were reduced—and decision thresholds were wider—in the MDD groups. This pattern suggests that depressed adults accumulated the evidence needed to make decisions more slowly than controls did.
Depressed adults responded slower than controls in both studies, and poorer performance led the MDD group to receive fewer rewards than controls in Study 1. These results did not reflect a sensorimotor deficit but were instead due to sluggish evidence accumulation. Thus, slowed decision-making—not slowed perception or response execution—caused the performance deficit in MDD. If these results generalize to other tasks, they may help explain the broad cognitive deficits seen in depression.
Fatigue syndromes (FSs) affect large numbers of individuals, yet evidence from epidemiological studies on adverse outcomes, such as premature death, is limited.
Cohort study involving 385 general practices in England that contributed to the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) with linked inpatient Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) and Office for National Statistics (ONS) cause of death information. A total of 10 477 patients aged 15 years and above, diagnosed with a FS during 2000–2014, were individually matched with up to 20 comparator patients without a history of having a FS. Prevalence ratios (PRs) were estimated to compare the FS and comparison cohorts on clinical characteristics. Adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for subsequent adverse outcomes were estimated from stratified Cox regression models.
Among patients diagnosed with FSs, we found elevated baseline prevalence of: any psychiatric illness (PR 1.77; 95% CI 1.72–1.82), anxiety disorders (PR 1.92; 1.85–1.99), depression (PR 1.89; 1.83–1.96), psychotropic prescriptions (PR 1.68; 1.64–1.72) and comorbid physical illness (PR 1.28; 1.23–1.32). We found no significant differences in risks for: all-cause mortality (HR 0.99; 0.91–1.09), natural death (HR 0.99; 0.90–1.09), unnatural death (HR 1.00; 0.59–1.72) or suicide (HR 1.68; 0.78–3.63). We did, however, observe a significantly elevated non-fatal self-harm risk: HR 1.83; 1.56–2.15.
The absence of elevated premature mortality risk is reassuring. The raised prevalence of mental illness and increased non-fatal self-harm risk indicate a need for enhanced assessment and management of psychopathology associated with fatigue syndromes.
To compare the effects of empiric carbapenems versus cycling cefepime and piperacillin/tazobactam on the rates of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) colonization, bloodstream infections, and outcomes of patients admitted with acute leukemia.
Retrospective clinical study with VRE molecular strain typing and gastrointestinal microbiome comparison.
A regional referral center for acute leukemia.
342 consecutive patients admitted with newly diagnosed acute leukemia.
In September 2015, we changed our empiric antibiotic of choice for neutropenic fever from a carbapenem to the cycling regimen. We studied 214 consecutive patients during the carbapenem period and 128 during the cycling period. Surveillance for VRE stool colonization was conducted weekly. Representative stool samples were analyzed for VRE MLST types and changes in the composition and diversity of the fecal microbiota.
The change in empiric antibiotics was associated with a significant decrease in VRE colonization (hazard ratio [HR], 0.35; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.27–0.66), a switch in the dominant VRE MLST types on the unit, and some modifications in the gastrointestinal microbiome. There were no differences in total gram-positive or gram-negative BSIs. During the carbapenem period, we observed higher absolute numbers of Candida spp and fewer ESBL BSIs, but these did not reach statistical significance. Patients during the carbapenem period had longer lengths of stay and durations of severe neutropenia and 10% higher hospital cost.
Carbapenem-sparing empiric antibiotic regimens may have advantages related to VRE ecology, gastrointestinal dysbiosis, duration of neutropenia, cost and length of stay.
We present a brief summary of the results of a study of the effects of dynamical evolution on the stellar mass function of multiple-population globular clusters. Theoretical studies have predicted that the process of multiple-population cluster formation results in a system in which second-generation (2G) stars are initially more centrally concentrated than first-generation (1G) stars. In the study presented here, we have explored the implications of the initial differences between the 2G and 1G structural properties for the evolution of the local (measured at different distances from a cluster center) and global mass function. We have studied both systems in which 1G and 2G stars start with the same initial mass function (IMF) and systems in which 1G and 2G stars have different IMFs. Finally we have explored the evolution of the spatial mixing and found that the multiscale nature of the clusters studied leads to a dependence of the mixing rate on the stellar mass.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is associated with pervasive social deficits as well as marked emotion dysregulation across the life span. Decreased social motivation accounts in part for social difficulties, but factors moderating its influence are not fully understood. In this paper, we (a) characterize social and emotional functioning among children and adolescents with ASD, (b) explore contributions of social motivation and emotion dysregulation to social skill, and (c) consider biological sex and intellectual functioning as moderators of these associations. In a sample of 2,079 children and adolescents with ASD from the Simons Simplex Collection, we document direct effects of social motivation, internalizing symptoms, aggression, attention problems, irritability, and self-injurious behavior on children's social skills. Furthermore, dysregulation in several domains moderated the association between social motivation and social skill, suggesting a blunting effect on social motivation in the context of emotional difficulties. Moreover, when considering only individuals with intellectual skills in the average range or higher, biological sex further moderated these associations. Findings add to our understanding of social–emotional processes in ASD, suggest emotion dysregulation as a target of intervention in the service of social skill improvements, and build on efforts to understand sources of individual difference that contribute to heterogeneity among individuals with ASD.