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Nowadays, zoos are increasingly concerned with animal welfare as public expectations and knowledge of the needs of captive animals increases. Although many zoos try to provide all sorts of enrichment for their big cats, the importance of social enrichment is not yet fully understood. This study investigates the effect of different social housing conditions on the behaviour exhibited by captive tigers (Panthera tigris). It was found that paired tigers performed a wider variety of behaviours than single tigers (mostly direct social interactions). Single animals spent significantly more time rolling, auto-playing and performing flehmen. Moreover, paired tigers without neighbouring tigers exhibited significantly less pacing than those with neighbouring tigers. These results suggest that housing tigers in pairs is preferable for the animals as they are able to perform a wider range of natural behaviours, and that the presence of neighbouring tigers causes stress and frustration, and hence more pacing.
We conducted a scientific survey of paediatric practitioners who manage heart failure with dilated cardiomyopathy in children. The survey covered management from diagnosis to treatment to monitoring, totalling 63 questions. There were 54 respondents from 40 institutions and 3 countries. There were diverse selections of management options by the respondents in general, but also unanimity in some management options. Variation in practice is likely due to the relative paucity of scientific data in this field and lack of strong evidence-based recommendations from guidelines, which presents an opportunity for future research and quality improvement efforts as the evidence base continues to grow.
Recurrent laryngeal nerve injury leading to vocal cord paralysis is a known complication of cardiothoracic surgery. Its occurrence during interventional catheterisation procedures has been documented in case reports, but there have been no studies to determine an incidence.
To establish the incidence of left recurrent laryngeal nerve injury leading to vocal cord paralysis after left pulmonary artery stenting, patent ductus arteriosus device closure and the combination of the procedures either consecutively or simultaneously.
Members of the Congenital Cardiovascular Interventional Study Consortium were asked to perform a retrospective analysis to identify cases of recurrent laryngeal nerve injury after the aforementioned procedures. Twelve institutions participated in the analysis. They also contributed the total number of each procedure performed at their respective institutions for statistical purposes.
Of the 1337 patients who underwent left pulmonary artery stent placement, six patients (0.45%) had confirmed vocal cord paralysis. 4001 patients underwent patent ductus arteriosus device closure, and two patients (0.05%) developed left vocal cord paralysis. Patients who underwent both left pulmonary artery stent placement and patent ductus arteriosus device closure had the highest incidence of vocal cord paralysis which occurred in 4 of the 26 patients (15.4%). Overall, 92% of affected patients in our study population had resolution of symptoms.
Recurrent laryngeal nerve injury is a rare complication of left pulmonary artery stent placement or patent ductus arteriosus device closure. However, the incidence is highest in patients undergoing both procedures either consecutively or simultaneously. Additional research is necessary to determine contributing factors that might reduce the risk of recurrent laryngeal nerve injury.
Contrasting the well-described effects of early intervention (EI) services for youth-onset psychosis, the potential benefits of the intervention for adult-onset psychosis are uncertain. This paper aims to examine the effectiveness of EI on functioning and symptomatic improvement in adult-onset psychosis, and the optimal duration of the intervention.
360 psychosis patients aged 26–55 years were randomized to receive either standard care (SC, n = 120), or case management for two (2-year EI, n = 120) or 4 years (4-year EI, n = 120) in a 4-year rater-masked, parallel-group, superiority, randomized controlled trial of treatment effectiveness (Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT00919620). Primary (i.e. social and occupational functioning) and secondary outcomes (i.e. positive and negative symptoms, and quality of life) were assessed at baseline, 6-month, and yearly for 4 years.
Compared with SC, patients with 4-year EI had better Role Functioning Scale (RFS) immediate [interaction estimate = 0.008, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.001–0.014, p = 0.02] and extended social network (interaction estimate = 0.011, 95% CI = 0.004–0.018, p = 0.003) scores. Specifically, these improvements were observed in the first 2 years. Compared with the 2-year EI group, the 4-year EI group had better RFS total (p = 0.01), immediate (p = 0.01), and extended social network (p = 0.05) scores at the fourth year. Meanwhile, the 4-year (p = 0.02) and 2-year EI (p = 0.004) group had less severe symptoms than the SC group at the first year.
Specialized EI treatment for psychosis patients aged 26–55 should be provided for at least the initial 2 years of illness. Further treatment up to 4 years confers little benefits in this age range over the course of the study.
There has been recent debate regarding the efficacy of electroconvulsive therapy in the treatment of depression. This has been based on narrative reviews that contradict existing systematic reviews and meta-analyses. In this special article, we highlight the mistakes that occur when interpreting evidence using narrative reviews, as opposed to conventional systematic reviews and meta-analyses.
Subglacial hydrology modulates basal motion but remains poorly constrained, particularly for soft-bedded Greenlandic outlet glaciers. Here, we report detailed measurements of the response of subglacial water pressure to the connection and drainage of adjacent water-filled boreholes drilled through kilometre-thick ice on Sermeq Kujalleq (Store Glacier). These measurements provide evidence for gap opening at the ice-sediment interface, Darcian flow through the sediment layer, and the forcing of water pressure in hydraulically-isolated cavities by stress transfer. We observed a small pressure drop followed by a large pressure rise in response to the connection of an adjacent borehole, consistent with the propagation of a flexural wave within the ice and underlying deformable sediment. We interpret the delayed pressure rise as evidence of no pre-existing conduit and the progressive decrease in hydraulic transmissivity as the closure of a narrow (< 1.5 mm) gap opened at the ice-sediment interface, and a reversion to Darcian flow through the sediment layer with a hydraulic conductivity of ≤ 10−6 m s−1. We suggest that gap opening at the ice-sediment interface deserves further attention as it will occur naturally in response to the rapid pressurisation of water at the bed.
Exercise has been found to be important in maintaining neurocognitive health. However, the effect of exercise intensity level remains relatively underexplored. Thus, to test the hypothesis that self-paced high-intensity exercise and cardiorespiratory fitness (peak aerobic capacity; VO2peak) increase grey matter (GM) volume, we examined the effect of a 6-month exercise intervention on frontal lobe GM regions that support the executive functions in older adults.
Ninety-eight cognitively normal participants (age = 69.06 ± 5.2 years; n = 54 female) were randomised into either a self-paced high- or moderate-intensity cycle-based exercise intervention group, or a no-intervention control group. Participants underwent magnetic resonance imaging and fitness assessment pre-intervention, immediately post-intervention, and 12-months post-intervention.
The intervention was found to increase fitness in the exercise groups, as compared with the control group (F = 9.88, p = <0.001). Changes in pre-to-post-intervention fitness were associated with increased volume in the right frontal lobe (β = 0.29, p = 0.036, r = 0.27), right supplementary motor area (β = 0.30, p = 0.031, r = 0.29), and both right (β = 0.32, p = 0.034, r = 0.30) and left gyrus rectus (β = 0.30, p = 0.037, r = 0.29) for intervention, but not control participants. No differences in volume were observed across groups.
At an aggregate level, six months of self-paced high- or moderate-intensity exercise did not increase frontal GM volume. However, experimentally-induced changes in individual cardiorespiratory fitness was positively associated with frontal GM volume in our sample of older adults. These results provide evidence of individual variability in exercise-induced fitness on brain structure.
Longitudinal evaluation of allograft diastolic function in paediatric heart transplant recipients is important for early detection of acute rejection, cardiac allograft vasculopathy, and graft dysfunction. Mean diastolic right atrial and pulmonary capillary wedge pressures obtained at catheterisation are the reference standards for assessment. Echocardiography is non-invasive and more suitable for serial surveillance, but individual parameters have lacked accuracy. This study aimed to identify covariates of post-transplant mean right atrial and pulmonary capillary wedge pressures, including B-type natriuretic peptide and certain echocardiographic parameters.
A retrospective review of 143 scheduled cardiac catheterisations and echocardiograms from 56 paediatric recipients transplanted from 2007 to 2011 was performed. Samples with rejection were excluded. Univariate and multivariate linear regression models using backward selection were applied to a database consisting of B-type natriuretic peptide, haemodynamic, and echocardiographic data.
Ln B-type natriuretic peptide, heart rate z-score, left ventricular end-diastolic dimension z-score, mitral E/e’, and percent interventricular septal thickening in systole were independently associated with mean right atrial pressure. Ln B-type natriuretic peptide, heart rate z-score, left ventricular end-diastolic dimension z-score, left ventricular mass (observed/predicted), and mitral E/e’ were independently associated with mean pulmonary capillary wedge pressure. Covariates of B-type natriuretic peptide included mean pulmonary artery and pulmonary capillary wedge pressures, height, haemoglobin, fractional shortening, percent interventricular septal thickening in systole, and pulmonary vascular resistance index.
B-type natriuretic peptide and echocardiographic indices of diastolic function were independently related to post-transplant mean right atrial and pulmonary capillary wedge pressures in paediatric heart transplant recipients without rejection.
Multicentre research databases can provide insights into healthcare processes to improve outcomes and make practice recommendations for novel approaches. Effective audits can establish a framework for reporting research efforts, ensuring accurate reporting, and spearheading quality improvement. Although a variety of data auditing models and standards exist, barriers to effective auditing including costs, regulatory requirements, travel, and design complexity must be considered.
Materials and methods:
The Congenital Cardiac Research Collaborative conducted a virtual data training initiative and remote source data verification audit on a retrospective multicentre dataset. CCRC investigators across nine institutions were trained to extract and enter data into a robust dataset on patients with tetralogy of Fallot who required neonatal intervention. Centres provided de-identified source files for a randomised 10% patient sample audit. Key auditing variables, discrepancy types, and severity levels were analysed across two study groups, primary repair and staged repair.
Of the total 572 study patients, data from 58 patients (31 staged repairs and 27 primary repairs) were source data verified. Amongst the 1790 variables audited, 45 discrepancies were discovered, resulting in an overall accuracy rate of 97.5%. High accuracy rates were consistent across all CCRC institutions ranging from 94.6% to 99.4% and were reported for both minor (1.5%) and major discrepancies type classifications (1.1%).
Findings indicate that implementing a virtual multicentre training initiative and remote source data verification audit can identify data quality concerns and produce a reliable, high-quality dataset. Remote auditing capacity is especially important during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Prenatal choline is a key nutrient, like folic acid and vitamin D, for fetal brain development and subsequent mental function. We sought to determine whether effects of higher maternal plasma choline concentrations on childhood attention and social problems, found in an initial clinical trial of choline supplementation, are observed in a second cohort.
Of 183 mothers enrolled from an urban safety net hospital clinic, 162 complied with gestational assessments and brought their newborns for study at 1 month of age; 83 continued assessments through 4 years of age. Effects of maternal 16 weeks of gestation plasma choline concentrations ⩾7.07 μM, 1 s.d. below the mean level obtained with supplementation in the previous trial, were compared to lower levels. The Attention Problems and Withdrawn Syndrome scales on Child Behavior Checklist 1½–5 were the principal outcomes.
Higher maternal plasma choline was associated with lower mean Attention Problems percentiles in children, and for male children, with lower Withdrawn percentiles. Higher plasma choline concentrations also reduced Attention Problems percentiles for children of mothers who used cannabis during gestation as well as children of mothers who had gestational infection.
Prenatal choline's positive associations with early childhood behaviors are found in a second, more diverse cohort. Increases in attention problems and social withdrawal in early childhood are associated with later mental illnesses including attention deficit disorder and schizophrenia. Choline concentrations in the pregnant women in this study replicate other research findings suggesting that most pregnant women do not have adequate choline in their diets.
There is compelling evidence for gradient effects of household income on school readiness. Potential mechanisms are described, yet the growth curve trajectory of maternal mental health in a child's early life has not been thoroughly investigated. We aimed to examine the relationships between household incomes, maternal mental health trajectories from antenatal to the postnatal period, and school readiness.
Prospective data from 505 mother–child dyads in a birth cohort in Singapore were used, including household income, repeated measures of maternal mental health from pregnancy to 2-years postpartum, and a range of child behavioural, socio-emotional and cognitive outcomes from 2 to 6 years of age. Antenatal mental health and its trajectory were tested as mediators in the latent growth curve models.
Household income was a robust predictor of antenatal maternal mental health and all child outcomes. Between children from the bottom and top household income quartiles, four dimensions of school readiness skills differed by a range of 0.52 (95% Cl: 0.23, 0.67) to 1.21 s.d. (95% CI: 1.02, 1.40). Thirty-eight percent of pregnant mothers in this cohort were found to have perinatal depressive and anxiety symptoms in the subclinical and clinical ranges. Poorer school readiness skills were found in children of these mothers when compared to those of mothers with little or no symptoms. After adjustment of unmeasured confounding on the indirect effect, antenatal maternal mental health provided a robust mediating path between household income and multiple school readiness outcomes (χ2 126.05, df 63, p < 0.001; RMSEA = 0.031, CFI = 0.980, SRMR = 0.034).
Pregnant mothers with mental health symptoms, particularly those from economically-challenged households, are potential targets for intervention to level the playing field of their children.
Red meat is an important dietary source of protein and many other essential nutrients including omega(n)-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) which provide numerous benefits to human health. It is well known that grass-fed meat contains a more favourable fatty acid profile, compared to other feeding regimes, but the feasibility of grass finishing is in decline for many farmers/producers. Therefore, alternative methods to enhance the fatty acid profile of red meats, such as beef, are needed to meet increasing consumer demands for ‘healthier’ products. This study compared plasma PUFA concentrations across cattle finished on three different feeding regimes. Three farms supplied livestock to the current study, where cattle were fed three different feeding regimes for a minimum of 15-weeks prior to slaughter. Feeding regimes were ad lib concentrate (negative control), n3-enriched ad lib concentrate (treatment) or grass-fed only (positive control). Blood was collected at slaughter into EDTA tubes and plasma aliquots were stored at -80°C until analysis. A validated gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) method was used to quantify individual PUFA concentrations in mg/ml [linoleic acid (LA); arachidonic acid (AA); alpha-linolenic acid (ALA); eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA); docosapentaenoic acid (DPA); docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)]. Samples from 23, 49 and 40 animals (in control, treatment & grass groups, respectively) were available for the current analysis. One-way ANOVA tests revealed significant differences between groups in all PUFA concentrations quantified (all P < 0.026). Post-hoc (LSD) tests showed mean ± SD n3 PUFA concentrations were significantly different within all three groups (all P < 0.04), increasing from negative control (0.049 ± 0.013 mg/ml), to treatment (0.095 ± 0.034 mg/ml) and grass-fed groups (0.461 ± 0.132 mg/ml). The opposite was observed for mean ± SD n6 PUFA concentrations (1.060 ± 0.297 vs. 0.918 ± 0.267 vs. 0.355 ± 0.085 mg/ml, respectively; all P < 0.02). Cattle finished on either treatment or grass regimes had a more favourable n6:n3 PUFA ratio, compared to negative control (11.98 and 0.79 vs. 22.65, respectively). This study demonstrates that the finishing diet can impact plasma PUFA concentrations of beef cattle. Animals finished on the n3-enriched concentrate had, on average, double the total n3 PUFA concentrations, as well as an improved n6:n3 ratio, compared to control cattle. These results provide preliminary data on an alternative n3-enriched feeding regime for beef cattle to improve PUFA concentrations. Further research, however, is required to confirm if such beneficial changes are also observed in bovine muscle, which would have direct benefits for consumers.
Background: Telemedicine has been defined as the use of technology to provide healthcare when the provider and patient are geographically separated. Use of telemedicine to meet the needs of specific populations has become increasingly common across Canada. The current study employs the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) to connect the emergency departments of a community hospital system and a pediatric tertiary care hospital. OTN functions through a two-way video conferencing system, allowing physicians at the tertiary site to see and hear the patient being treated in the community hospitals. Aim Statement: The aim of this project is to ensure essential care is provided to CTAS 1 and 2 pediatric patients who present to Niagara Health emergency departments, to increase the number of appropriate patient transfers. Measures & Design: Data for this project include a) description of common diagnoses, b) time of call, c) occurrence of transfers, and d) professional perceptions of the technology. A descriptive design was used together with the implementation of quality improvement cycles as the intervention occurred. Quality improvement methodologies including plan-do-study-act (PDSA) cycles ensured continuous improvement to the process of OTN use and therefore patient safety throughout the study. Evaluation/Results: Since the intervention was employed on December 17, 2018 there have been a total of 19 cases for which 4 transfers were requested. Changes to the process were made including the addition of weekly technology tests and feedback to health professionals involved to garner further support for the use. Results have indicated that seizure was the most common diagnosis, accounting for 37% of cases. The majority of calls were placed after 19:00 hours with no calls being placed between 24:00 and 10:00. Discussion/Impact: Healthcare providers had positive perceptions of the technology agreeing that decision making between on-site and remote teams was timely and collaborative, as well as that patient care and outcomes were improved with its use. The results of this study will be used to determine the benefits of employing telemedicine in the emergency departments of other hospital systems.
Cardiac disease has been the leading cause of overall maternal mortality in the UK since the 2002–2004 triennium. The maternal death rate from cardiac disease has increased from 1.65 per 100,000 maternities in the 1997–1999 triennium to 2.34 per 100,000 maternities in the 2013–2015 triennium. This is thought to be due to increasing maternal age, increasing levels of obesity and better recognition of cardiac pathology at autopsy.
Currently there is no consensus regarding how long anti-psychotics medication should be continued following a first/single psychotic episode. Clinically patients often request discontinuation after a period of remission. This is one of the first double-blind randomized-controlled studies designed to address the issue.
Patients with DSM-IV schizophrenia and related psychoses (excluding substance induced psychosis) who remitted well following a first/single-episode, and had remained well on maintenance medication for one year, were randomized to receive either maintenance therapy with quetiapine (400 mg/day), or placebo for 12 months. Relapse was defined by the presence of (i) an increase in at least one of the following PANSS psychotic symptom items to a threshold score (delusion, hallucinatory behaviour, conceptual disorganization, unusual thought content, suspiciousness); (ii) CGI Severity of Illness 3 or above; and (iii) CGI Improvement 5 or above.
178 patients were randomized. 144 patients completed the study (80.9%). The relapse rate was 33.7% (30/89) for the maintenance group and 66.3% (59/89) for the placebo group (log-rank test, chi-square=13.328, p<0.001). Relapse was not related to age or gender. Other significant predictors of relapse include medication status, pre-morbid schizotypal traits, verbal memory and soft neurological signs.
There is a substantial risk of relapse if medication is discontinued in remitted first-episode psychosis patients following one year of maintenance therapy. On the contrary 33.7% of patients discontinued medication and remained well.
Medication discontinuation in remitted single episode patients after a period of maintenance therapy is a major clinical decision and thus the identification of risk factors controlling for medication status is important.
Following a first/single episode with DSM-IV schizophrenia and related psychoses, remitted patients who had remained well on maintenance medication for at least one year were randomized to receive either maintenance therapy (with quetiapine 400 mg/day), or placebo for 12 months.
178 patients were randomized. Relapse rates were 33.7% (30/89) in maintenance group and 66.3% (59/89) in placebo group. Potential predictors were initially identified in univariate Cox regression models (p<0.1) and were subsequently entered into a multivariate Cox regression model for measuring the relapse risk. Significant predictors included patients on placebo (hazard ratio, 0.41; CI, 0.25 – 0.68; p=0.001); having more pre-morbid schizotypal traits (hazard ratio, 2.32; CI, 1.33 – 4.04; p=0.003); scoring lower in the logical memory test (hazard ratio, 0.94; CI, 0.9 – 0.99; p=0.028); and having more soft neurological signs (disinhibition) (hazard ratio, 1.33; CI, 1.02 – 1.74; p=0.039).
Relapse predictors may help to inform clinical decisions about discontinuation of maintenance therapy specifically for patients with a first/single episode psychosis following at least one year of maintenance therapy.
We are grateful to Dr TJ Yao at the Clinical Trials Center, University of Hong Kong, for statistical advice. The study was supported by investigator initiated trial award from AstraZeneca and the Research Grants Council Hong Kong (Project number: 765505).
This paper investigates the recidivism of Mount Sinai Hospital mental health court support program in Toronto, Canada among patients involved in the criminal justice system. It also looks to find relationships between recidivism and factors including gender, age and ethnicity.
Follow up periods of up to 48 months after the time of initial admission to the program was conducted and the frequency of re-offense was observed. Comparisons for the significance of risk factors were analyzed using t-tests and Chisquare tests.
191 clients were admitted to the Mount Sinai Hospital Court Support Program between September 2001 and June 2007. At first admission, the mean ± s.d. age was 35.8 ± 9.8 years (range=18-74 years; n=184). The median age was 35 years. The modal age was 34 years. Of the 191 clients, 16 (8.4%) reoffended. Two of them (12.5%) had a third offense; and 1 (6.3%) had a total of four offenses within this tracking period. it appears that re-offense is more likely between 13 and 24 months. No re-offense was noted beyond the 48 months. The gender distribution was not significantly different between reoffenders and non-reoffenders. The mean age at first admission also did not differ between reoffenders and non-reoffenders. The distribution of ethnic groups among reoffenders and non-reoffenders did not differ.
The findings seem to indicate that recidivism has no relationship with gender, age and ethnic groups. The comprehensive and length of support services seem more important in preventing recidivism.
Continued reliance on chemical methods for controlling annual bluegrass has resulted in many populations evolving resistance to PRE and POST herbicides, particularly in warm-season turfgrass species such as zoysiagrass. Soil seedbank management is critically important when managing herbicide-resistant weeds. Fraise mowing (also spelled fraze, frase, and fraize) is a new turfgrass cultivation practice designed to remove aboveground biomass while allowing turf to regrow vegetatively. We hypothesized that this process would remove annual bluegrass seed and therefore be a mechanical means of controlling annual bluegrass in turfgrass. Zoysiagrass field plots were fraise-mowed in June 2015 only, June 2016 only, June 2015 and June 2016, or left untreated. The fraise mower was configured to remove the uppermost 25 mm of plot surface (i.e., 15-mm verdure and 10-mm soil). Annual bluegrass infestation was quantified in April following fraise mowing via grid count. Soil cores (10.8 cm diameter) were extracted from each plot after grid count data were collected to assess effects of fraise mowing on the soil seedbank. Moreover, replicated subsamples (7.6 L) of debris generated during fraise mowing were collected to better understand weed seed content removed during the fraise mowing process. Fraise mowing in June offered a slight reduction (24%) in annual bluegrass cover the following April. Whereas 28% of the seed in fraise-mowing debris consisted of annual bluegrass, there was no difference in the quantity of annual bluegrass seed remaining in the soil seedbank among fraise-mowed and non–fraise-mowed plots. Although fraise mowing may help to temporarily reduce existing annual bluegrass infestations via mechanical removal, the frequency and depth we studied did not effectively reduce the seedbank. Fraise mowing is a useful tool for providing mechanical suppression of annual bluegrass but it is not a replacement for properly timed herbicide applications.