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Bell's palsy is a lower motor neurone facial weakness of unknown aetiology, although reactivation of a virus within the facial nerve has been proposed.
A prospective study was conducted of Bell's palsy cases presenting to our paediatric ENT unit over a 19-week period, from February to June 2020. Patients were invited for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 antibody testing. A text-message questionnaire was sent to other ENT centres to determine their observational experience.
During the study period, 17 children presented with Bell's palsy, compared with only 3 children in the same time period in the previous year (p < 0.0001). Five patients underwent severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 antibody testing, the results of which were all negative. Four out of 15 centres questioned perceived an increased incidence in paediatric Bell's palsy.
Clinicians are encouraged to be vigilant to the increase in paediatric Bell's palsy seen during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, which may represent a post-viral sequela of coronavirus disease 2019.
When presenting with a first episode of psychosis (FEP), migrants can have different demographic and clinical characteristics to the native-born population and this was examined in an Irish Early Intervention for Psychosis service.
All cases of treated FEP from three local mental health services within a defined catchment area were included. Psychotic disorder diagnoses were determined using the SCID and symptom and functioning domains were measured using validated and reliable measures.
From a cohort of 612 people, 21.1% were first-generation migrants and there was no difference in the demographic characteristics, diagnoses, symptoms or functioning between migrants and those born in the Republic of Ireland, except that migrants from Africa presented with less insight. Of those admitted, 48.6% of admissions for migrants were involuntary compared to 37.7% for the native-born population (p = 0.09).
First-generation migrants now make up a significant proportion of people presenting with a FEP to an Irish EI for psychosis service. Broadly the demographic and clinical characteristics of migrants and those born in the Republic of Ireland are similar, except for less insight in migrants from Africa and a trend for a higher proportion of involuntary admissions in the total migrant group.
This chapter comprises the following sections: names, taxonomy, subspecies and distribution, descriptive notes, habitat, movements and home range, activity patterns, feeding ecology, reproduction and growth, behavior, parasites and diseases, status in the wild, and status in captivity.
There is a high rate of psychiatric comorbidity in patients with epilepsy. However, the impact of surgical treatment of refractory epilepsy on psychopathology remains under investigation. We aimed to examine the impact of epilepsy surgery on psychopathology and quality of life at 1-year post-surgery in a population of patients with epilepsy refractory to medication.
This study initially assessed 48 patients with refractory epilepsy using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders (SCID-I), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the Quality of Life in Epilepsy Inventory 89 (QOLIE-89) on admission to an Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) as part of their pre-surgical assessment. These patients were again assessed using the SCID-I, QOLIE-89 and HADS at 1-year follow-up post-surgery.
There was a significant reduction in psychopathology, particularly psychosis, following surgery at 1-year follow-up (p < 0.021). There were no new cases of de novo psychosis and surgery was also associated with a significant improvement in the quality of life scores (p < 0.001).
This study demonstrates the impact of epilepsy surgery on psychopathology and quality of life in a patient population with refractory surgery. The presence of a psychiatric illness should not be a barrier to access surgical treatment.
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.
Through diversity of composition, sequence, and interfacial structure, hybrid materials greatly expand the palette of materials available to access novel functionality. The NSF Division of Materials Research recently supported a workshop (October 17–18, 2019) aiming to (1) identify fundamental questions and potential solutions common to multiple disciplines within the hybrid materials community; (2) initiate interfield collaborations between hybrid materials researchers; and (3) raise awareness in the wider community about experimental toolsets, simulation capabilities, and shared facilities that can accelerate this research. This article reports on the outcomes of the workshop as a basis for cross-community discussion. The interdisciplinary challenges and opportunities are presented, and followed with a discussion of current areas of progress in subdisciplines including hybrid synthesis, functional surfaces, and functional interfaces.
Synchrotron x-rays are a powerful tool to probe real-time changes in the microstructure of materials as they respond to an external stimulus, such as phase transformations that take place in response to a change in temperature. X-ray imaging techniques include radiography and tomography, and have been steadily improved over the last decades so that they can now resolve micrometer-scale or even finer structural changes in bulk specimens over time scales of a second or less. Under certain conditions, these imaging approaches can also give spatially resolved chemical information. In this article, we focus on the liquid to solid transformation of metallic alloys and the temporal and spatial resolution of the accompanying segregation of alloying elements. The solidification of alloys provides an excellent case study for x-ray imaging because it is usually accompanied by the progressive, preferential segregation of one or more of the alloying elements to either the solid or the liquid, and gives rise to surprisingly complex chemical segregation patterns. We describe chemical mapping investigations of binary and quasi-binary alloys using radiography and tomography, and recent developments in x-ray fluorescence imaging that offer the prospect of a more general, multielement mapping technique. Future developments for synchrotron-based chemical mapping are also considered.
In 2007, a report from the European Science Foundation on Investigating Life in Extreme Environments defined extreme environments as ‘having one or more environmental parameters showing values permanently close to lower or upper limits known for life in its various forms’ (CAREX, 2011).
In many countries, health technology assessment (HTA) organizations determine the economic value of new drugs and make recommendations regarding appropriate pricing and coverage in national health systems. In the US, recent policy proposals aimed at reducing drug costs would link drug prices to six countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and the UK. We reviewed these countries’ methods of HTA and guidance on price and coverage recommendations, analyzing methods and guidance documents for differences in (1) the methodologies HTA organizations use to conduct their evaluations and (2) considerations they use when making recommendations. We found important differences in the methods, interpretations of HTA findings, and condition-specific carve-outs that HTA organizations use to conduct evaluations and make recommendations. These variations have ethical implications because they influence the recommendations of HTA organizations, which affect access to the drug through national insurance and price negotiations with manufacturers. The differences in HTA approaches result from the distinct political, social, and cultural contexts of each organization and its value judgments. New cost-containment policies in the US should consider the ethical implications of the HTA reviews that they are considering relying on to negotiate drug prices and what values should be included in US pricing policy.
Advanced imaging techniques are enhancing research capacity focussed on the developmental origins of adult health and disease (DOHaD) hypothesis, and consequently increasing awareness of future health risks across various subareas of DOHaD research themes. Understanding how these advanced imaging techniques in animal models and human population studies can be both additively and synergistically used alongside traditional techniques in DOHaD-focussed laboratories is therefore of great interest. Global experts in advanced imaging techniques congregated at the advanced imaging workshop at the 2019 DOHaD World Congress in Melbourne, Australia. This review summarizes the presentations of new imaging modalities and novel applications to DOHaD research and discussions had by DOHaD researchers that are currently utilizing advanced imaging techniques including MRI, hyperpolarized MRI, ultrasound, and synchrotron-based techniques to aid their DOHaD research focus.
The Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea is a ‘Critically Endangered’ migratory shorebird. The species faces an array of threats in its non-breeding range, making conservation intervention essential. However, conservation efforts are reliant on identifying the species’ key stopover and wintering sites. Using Maximum Entropy models, we predicted Spoon-billed Sandpiper distribution across the non-breeding range, using data from recent field surveys and satellite tracking. Model outputs suggest only a limited number of stopover sites are suitable for migrating birds, with sites in the Yellow Sea and on the Jiangsu coast in China highlighted as particularly important. All the previously known core wintering sites were identified by the model including the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta, Nan Thar Island and the Gulf of Mottama. In addition, the model highlighted sites subsequently found to be occupied, and pinpointed potential new sites meriting investigation, notably on Borneo and Sulawesi, and in parts of India and the Philippines. A comparison between the areas identified as most likely to be occupied and protected areas showed that very few locations are covered by conservation designations. Known sites must be managed for conservation as a priority, and potential new sites should be surveyed as soon as is feasible to assess occupancy status. Site protection should take place in concert with conservation interventions including habitat management, discouraging hunting, and fostering alternative livelihoods.
Economic hardship (EH) may link to poorer child diet, however whether this association is due to resource limitations or effects on family functioning is unknown. This study examines whether parenting stress mediates the association between EH and child consumption of foods high in saturated fats and added sugars (SFAS).
Data were collected from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing study. EH was assessed using eight items collected when children were between 1–9 years old. Mothers reported parenting stress and frequency of child consumption of high SFAS foods when children were 9 years old. Latent growth curve modelling (LGCM) and structural equation modelling tested direct associations between the starting level/rate of change in EH and high SFAS food consumption, and parenting stress as a mediator of the association.
Twenty US cities.
Mothers/children (n 3846) followed birth through age 9 years, oversampled ‘high-risk’, unmarried mothers.
LGCM indicated a curvilinear trend in EH from ages 1–9, with steeper increases from ages 3–9 years. EH did not directly predict the frequency of high SFAS foods. Average EH at 3 and 5 years and change in EH from ages 1–9 predicted higher parenting stress, which in turn predicted more frequent consumption of high SFAS foods.
Findings suggest it may be important to consider parenting stress in early prevention efforts given potential lasting effects of early life EH on child consumption of high SFAS foods. Future research should explore how supports and resources may buffer effects of EH-related stress on parents and children.
Coronavirus disease 2019 personal protective equipment has been reported to affect communication in healthcare settings. This study sought to identify those challenges experimentally.
Bamford–Kowal–Bench speech discrimination in noise performance of healthcare workers was tested under simulated background noise conditions from a variety of hospital environments. Candidates were assessed for ability to interpret speech with and without personal protective equipment, with both normal speech and raised voice.
There was a significant difference in speech discrimination scores between normal and personal protective equipment wearing subjects in operating theatre simulated background noise levels (70 dB).
Wearing personal protective equipment can impact communication in healthcare environments. Efforts should be made to remind staff about this burden and to seek alternative communication paradigms, particularly in operating theatre environments.