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Social media platforms allow users to share news, ideas, thoughts, and opinions on a global scale. Data processing methods allow researchers to automate the collection and interpretation of social media posts for efficient and valuable disease surveillance. Data derived from social media and internet search trends have been used successfully for monitoring and forecasting disease outbreaks such as Zika, Dengue, MERS, and Ebola viruses. More recently, data derived from social media have been used to monitor and model disease incidence during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. We discuss the use of social media for disease surveillance.
We determined the prevalence and identified predictors of food insecurity in four African countries.
Cross-sectional analyses at study enrolment.
From January 2013 to March 2020, people living with HIV (PLWH) and without HIV were enrolled at twelve clinics in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Nigeria.
Participants reporting not having enough food to eat over the past 12 months or receiving <3 meals/d were defined as food insecure. Robust Poisson regression models were used to estimate unadjusted and adjusted prevalence ratios (aPR) and 95 % CI for predictors of food insecurity among all participants and separately among PLWH.
1694/3496 participants (48·5 %) reported food insecurity at enrolment, with no difference by HIV status. Food insecurity was more common among older participants (50+ v. 18–24 years aPR 1·35, 95 % CI 1·15, 1·59). Having 2–5 (aPR 1·14, 95 % CI 1·01, 1·30) or >5 dependents (aPR 1·17, 95 % CI 1·02, 1·35), and residing in Kisumu West, Kenya (aPR 1·63, 95 % CI 1·42, 1·87) or Nigeria (aPR 1·20, 95 % CI 1·01, 1·41) was associated with food insecurity. Residing in Tanzania (aPR 0·65, 95 % CI 0·53, 0·80) and increasing education (secondary/above education v. none/some primary education aPR 0·73, 95 % CI 0·66, 0·81) was protective against food insecurity. Antiretroviral therapy (ART)-experienced PLWH were more likely to be food secure irrespective of viral load.
Food insecurity was highly prevalent in our cohort though not significantly associated with HIV. Policies aimed at promoting education, elderly care, ART access in PLWH and financial independence could potentially improve food security in Africa.
Current treatments for schizophrenia are often associated with increased rates of metabolic syndrome (MetSy). MetSy is defined as meeting 3 of the following 5 criteria: waist circumference >40in (men) or >35in (women), triglycerides =150mg/dL, high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) <40mg/dL (men) or <50mg/dL (women), systolic blood pressure (BP) =130mmHg or diastolic BP =85mmHg, fasting glucose =100mg/dL. Patients with MetSy have an elevated risk of developing type II diabetes and increased mortality due to cardiovascular disease. Lumateperone (lumateperone tosylate, ITI−007), a mechanistically novel antipsychotic that simultaneously modulates serotonin, dopamine, and glutamate neurotransmission, is FDA approved for the treatment of schizophrenia. This distinct pharmacological profile has been associated with favorable tolerability and a low risk of adverse metabolic effects in clinical trials. This post hoc analysis of 2 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies of patients with an acute exacerbation of schizophrenia compared rates of MetSy with lumateperone and risperidone. Data from an open-label long-term trial of lumateperone were also evaluated.
The incidence and shift in MetSy were analyzed in data pooled from 2 short-term (4 or 6 week) placebo- and active-controlled (risperidone 4mg) studies of lumateperone 42mg (Studies 005 and 302). The pooled lumateperone data were compared with data for risperidone. Data from an open-label 1-year trial (Study 303) evaluated MetSy in patients with stable schizophrenia switched from prior antipsychotic (PA) treatment to lumateperone 42mg.
In the acute studies (n=256 lumateperone 42mg, n=255 risperidone 4mg), rates of MetSy were similar between groups at baseline (16% lumateperone, 19% risperidone). At the end of treatment (EOT), MetSy was less common with lumateperone than with risperidone (13% vs 25%). More lumateperone patients (46%) compared with risperidone (25%) patients improved from having MetSy at baseline to no longer meeting MetSy criteria at EOT. Conversely, more patients on risperidone than on lumateperone developed MetSy during treatment (13% vs 5%). Differences in MetSy conversion rates were driven by changes in triglycerides and glucose. In the long-term study (n=602 lumateperone 42mg), 33% of patients had MetSy at PA baseline. Thirty-six percent of patients (36%) with MetSy at PA baseline improved to no longer meeting criteria at EOT. Fewer than half that percentage shifted from not meeting MetSy criteria to having MetSy (15%).
In this post hoc analysis, lumateperone 42mg patients had reduced rates of MetSy compared with risperidone patients. In the long-term study, patients with MetSy on PA switched to lumateperone 42mg had a reduction in the risk of MetSy. These results suggest that lumateperone 42mg is a promising new treatment for schizophrenia with a favorable metabolic profile.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of telemedicine as a way to reduce COVID-19 infections was noted and consequently deregulated. However, the degree of telemedicine regulation varies from country to country, which may alter the widespread use of telemedicine. This study aimed to clarify the telepsychiatry regulations for each collaborating country/region before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We used snowball sampling within a global network of international telepsychiatry experts. Thirty collaborators from 17 different countries/regions responded to a questionnaire on barriers to the use and implementation of telepsychiatric care, including policy factors such as regulations and reimbursement at the end of 2019 and as of May 2020.
Thirteen of 17 regions reported a relaxation of regulations due to the pandemic; consequently, all regions surveyed stated that telepsychiatry was now possible within their public healthcare systems. In some regions, restrictions on prescription medications allowed via telepsychiatry were eased, but in 11 of the 17 regions, there were still restrictions on prescribing medications via telepsychiatry. Lower insurance reimbursement amounts for telepsychiatry consultations v. in-person consultations were reevaluated in four regions, and consequently, in 15 regions telepsychiatry services were reimbursed at the same rate (or higher) than in-person consultations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our results confirm that, due to COVID-19, the majority of countries surveyed are altering telemedicine regulations that had previously restricted the spread of telemedicine. These findings provide information that could guide future policy and regulatory decisions, which facilitate greater scale and spread of telepsychiatry globally.
The objective of this study was to describe the epidemiology of COVID-19 in Nigeria with a view of generating evidence to enhance planning and response strategies. A national surveillance dataset between 27 February and 6 June 2020 was retrospectively analysed, with confirmatory testing for COVID-19 done by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The primary outcomes were cumulative incidence (CI) and case fatality (CF). A total of 40 926 persons (67% of total 60 839) had complete records of RT-PCR test across 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory, 12 289 (30.0%) of whom were confirmed COVID-19 cases. Of those confirmed cases, 3467 (28.2%) had complete records of clinical outcome (alive or dead), 342 (9.9%) of which died. The overall CI and CF were 5.6 per 100 000 population and 2.8%, respectively. The highest proportion of COVID-19 cases and deaths were recorded in persons aged 31–40 years (25.5%) and 61–70 years (26.6%), respectively; and males accounted for a higher proportion of confirmed cases (65.8%) and deaths (79.0%). Sixty-six per cent of confirmed COVID-19 cases were asymptomatic at diagnosis. In conclusion, this paper has provided an insight into the early epidemiology of COVID-19 in Nigeria, which could be useful for contextualising public health planning.
Opioid antagonists may mitigate medication-associated weight gain and/or metabolic dysregulation. ENLIGHTEN-2 evaluated a combination of olanzapine and the opioid antagonist samidorphan (OLZ/SAM) vs olanzapine for effects on weight gain and metabolic parameters over 24 weeks in adults with stable schizophrenia.
This phase 3, double-blind study (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02694328) enrolled adults 18–55 yo with stable schizophrenia, randomized 1:1 to once-daily OLZ/SAM or olanzapine. Co-primary endpoints were percent change from baseline in body weight and proportion of patients with ≥10% weight gain at week 24. Waist circumference and fasting metabolic parameters were also measured. Completers could enter a 52-week open-label safety extension.
561 patients were randomized: 550 were dosed, 538 had ≥1 post-baseline weight assessment, and 352 (64%) completed; 10.9% discontinued due to AEs. At week 24, least squares mean (SE) percent weight change from baseline was 4.21 (0.68)% with OLZ/SAM and 6.59 (0.67)% with olanzapine (difference, −2.38 [0.76]%; P=0.003). Fewer patients treated with OLZ/SAM (17.8%) had ≥10% weight gain vs olanzapine (29.8%; odds ratio=0.50; P=0.003). The change from baseline in waist circumference was significantly smaller with OLZ/SAM (P<0.001). Common AEs (≥10%) with OLZ/SAM and olanzapine were weight increased (24.8%, 36.2%), somnolence (21.2%, 18.1%), dry mouth (12.8%, 8.0%), and increased appetite (10.9%, 12.3%), respectively. Metabolic parameter changes were generally small and remained stable with long-term OLZ/SAM treatment.
OLZ/SAM treatment limited weight gain associated with olanzapine. Metabolic parameter changes were generally small, similar between groups over 24 weeks, and remained stable over an additional 52 weeks of open-label OLZ/SAM treatment.
Pathological gambling is a behavioural addiction with negative economic, social, and psychological consequences. Identification of contributing genes and pathways may improve understanding of aetiology and facilitate therapy and prevention. Here, we report the first genome-wide association study of pathological gambling. Our aims were to identify pathways involved in pathological gambling, and examine whether there is a genetic overlap between pathological gambling and alcohol dependence.
Four hundred and forty-five individuals with a diagnosis of pathological gambling according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders were recruited in Germany, and 986 controls were drawn from a German general population sample. A genome-wide association study of pathological gambling comprising single marker, gene-based, and pathway analyses, was performed. Polygenic risk scores were generated using data from a German genome-wide association study of alcohol dependence.
No genome-wide significant association with pathological gambling was found for single markers or genes. Pathways for Huntington's disease (P-value = 6.63 × 10−3); 5′-adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase signalling (P-value = 9.57 × 10−3); and apoptosis (P-value = 1.75 × 10−2) were significant. Polygenic risk score analysis of the alcohol dependence dataset yielded a one-sided nominal significant P-value in subjects with pathological gambling, irrespective of comorbid alcohol dependence status.
The present results accord with previous quantitative formal genetic studies which showed genetic overlap between non-substance- and substance-related addictions. Furthermore, pathway analysis suggests shared pathology between Huntington's disease and pathological gambling. This finding is consistent with previous imaging studies.
Neonatal aortic thrombosis is a rare occurrence but can be life-threatening. Most aortic thrombosis in neonates is related to umbilical artery catheters. A case of a neonate with a spontaneous aortic thrombosis is described here along with a comprehensive review of the literature for cases of neonatal aortic thrombosis not related to any intravascular device or procedure. The aetiologies of these spontaneous thromboses and the relevance of hypercoagulable disorders are discussed. The cases were analysed for odds of death by treatment method adjusted for era. The reference treatment method was thrombolysis and anticoagulation. No other treatment modality had significantly lower odds than the reference. Surgery alone had higher odds for death than the reference, but this may be confounded by severity of case. The management recommendations for clinicians encountering neonates with spontaneous neonatal aortic thrombosis are discussed.
There is uncertainty about the incidence of breakthrough psychosis in treatment adherent patients, and the role that factors, such as cumulative antipsychotic exposure, play in this phenomenon.
In a nationwide cohort of individuals treated for schizophrenia-spectrum disorders in Finland between 1 January 1996 and 31 December 2015, ‘Breakthrough Psychosis on Antipsychotic Maintenance Medication’ (BAMM) was defined as hospitalization for psychosis despite ongoing continuous treatment with long-acting injectable antipsychotics (LAIs) or oral antipsychotics (OAPs) for ⩾8 weeks. Incidence rates, survival curves, and risk factors were presented.
In a cohort of 16 031 continuous LAI treatment episodes with virtually assured adherence [median duration = 441 days, interquartile range (IQR) = 155–1277], BAMM incidence was 31.5%. For 42 867 OAPs treatment episodes (median duration = 483 days, IQR = 167–1491), for whom adherence was modeled by the PRE2DUP method, BAMM incidence was 31.1%. Factors related to illness instability at treatment onset were associated with BAMM, although median time to BAMM was 291 days (IQR = 121–876) for LAIs and 344 days (IQR = 142–989) for OAPs, and 27.4% (N = 1386) of the BAMM events in the LAI, and 32.9% (N = 4378) in the OAP group occurred despite >1 year since last hospitalization at treatment onset. Cumulative antipsychotic exposure was not a consistent risk factor.
BAMM was relatively common even when adherence was confirmed with LAIs. Illness instability at treatment onset accounted for most cases, but relapse after years of continuous treatment was still prevalent. There was insufficient evidence to support causality between cumulative antipsychotic exposure and BAMM. Future research needs to address the role of symptom severity and neurobiology in BAMM.
Background: There is little empirical research into lay definitions of frailty. Objectives: (1) To explore the definitions of frailty among older men, and (2) to explore if these definitions match commonly used clinical definitions of frailty. Methods: Analysis of open-ended questions to survey data from a prospective cohort study of older airmen. The definitions of frailty were elicited, and grouped according to themes. Results: 147 men responded (mean age: 93). There was considerable heterogeneity in older men’s’ definitions of frailty, and no theme of frailty was predominant. The most common theme was impairment in activities of daily living. Older men’s’ definition of frailty was not consistent with any commonly used medical theory of frailty. Conclusions: Most older men think frailty is important, but their definitions are not consistent. Frailty may be a heterogeneous experience, which different people experience differently.
Evidence suggests that affective problems, such as depression and anxiety, increase risk for late-life dementia. However, the extent to which affective problems influence cognitive decline, even many years prior to clinical diagnosis of dementia, is not clear. The present study systematically reviews and synthesises the evidence for the association between affective problems and decline in cognitive state (i.e., decline in non-specific cognitive function) in older adults. An electronic search of PubMed, PsycInfo, Cochrane, and ScienceDirect was conducted to identify studies of the association between depression and anxiety separately and decline in cognitive state. Key inclusion criteria were prospective, longitudinal designs with a minimum follow-up period of 1 year. Data extraction and methodological quality assessment using the STROBE checklist were conducted independently by two raters. A total of 34 studies (n = 71 244) met eligibility criteria, with 32 studies measuring depression (n = 68 793), and five measuring anxiety (n = 4698). A multi-level meta-analysis revealed that depression assessed as a binary predictor (OR 1.36, 95% CI 1.05–1.76, p = 0.02) or a continuous predictor (B = −0.008, 95% CI −0.015 to −0.002, p = 0.012; OR 0.992, 95% CI 0.985–0.998) was significantly associated with decline in cognitive state. The number of anxiety studies was insufficient for meta-analysis, and they are described in a narrative review. Results of the present study improve current understanding of the temporal nature of the association between affective problems and decline in cognitive state. They also suggest that cognitive function may need to be monitored closely in individuals with affective disorders, as these individuals may be at particular risk of greater cognitive decline.
The present gold standard of the treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is pentavalent antimonials either sodium stibogluconate (Pentostam) or meglumine antimoniate (Glucantime), These drugs are quite toxic. They are given by injection and usually administered intramuscularly or intravenously for three weeks or intralesionally for seven or more weeks. That is why the successful introduction of radiofrequency-induced heat therapy using a Thermomed™ 1.8 instrument administered in a single application, with minimal toxic effects, is so important for the treatment of CL.
The study aim was to establish and quantify suicide risk following acute admissions for all major physical illnesses, for confirmatory purposes, from two independent information sources from different countries.
Record linkage of inpatient and death certificate data for 11 004 389 acute admissions for physical illnesses in England and 713 496 in Wales. The main outcome measure was standardised mortality ratios (SMRs) for suicide at 1 year following discharge from hospital.
There were 1781 suicides within 1 year of discharge in England (SMR = 1.7; 95% = 1.6–1.8) and 131 in Wales (SMR = 2.0; 1.7–2.3). Of 48 major physical illnesses that were associated with at least eight suicides in either country, there was high consistent suicide mortality (significant SMR >3) in both countries for constipation (SMR = 4.1 in England, 7.5 in Wales), gastritis (4.4 and 4.9) and upper gastrointestinal bleeding (3.4 and 4.5). There was high suicide mortality in one country for alcoholic liver disease, other liver disease and chronic pancreatitis; for epilepsy and Parkinson's disease; for diabetes, hypoglycaemia and hypo-osmolality & hyponatraemia; and for pneumonia, back pain and urinary tract infections.
There is little or no increased suicide mortality following acute admissions for most physical illnesses. Much of the increased suicide mortality relates to gastrointestinal disorders that are often alcohol related or specific chronic conditions, which may be linked to side effects from certain therapeutic medications. Acute hospital admissions for physical illnesses may therefore provide an opportunity for targeted suicide prevention among people with certain conditions, particularly alcohol related disorders.
Recent studies have highlighted the threat that climate change poses to species, as areas of climatic suitability contract or shift across the landscape. North American Neotropical long-distant migrant bird species present a unique problem compared to sedentary species because climate change may differ significantly across their breeding and wintering grounds. Studying the potential future distributions of these birds is challenging on many levels, including the fact that our understanding of the wintering grounds of these species is quite poor. To address this issue, we analyse available eBird data during the winter season in the Western Hemisphere in an effort to further promote and direct citizen science efforts to focus on areas that are climatically undersampled. We used Mobility-Oriented Parity (MOP) to understand the areas where climates are most dissimilar from climates sampled by existing eBird checklists, creating a map that ranks the western hemisphere at a 10 km resolution for climatic sampling during the winter season. We found that parts of Mexico and Central America, areas of Colombia, almost the entire Amazon Basin, coastal Peru and Chile, and northern Argentina are climatically undersampled. As a test case, we then used the map of survey priorities to simulate additional sampling in Colombia and recalculated the rankings. Guiding additional sampling with the priorities reduced climate dissimilarities between sampled and unsampled grid cells more than when additional sampling expanded in proportion to current sampling efforts or based on geographic undersampling. Analyses of sampling coverage in environmental space, such as this, will be a useful tool for targeting monitoring effort for bird species.
To aid in preparation of military medic trainers for a possible new curriculum in teaching junctional tourniquet use, the investigators studied the time to control hemorrhage and blood volume lost in order to provide evidence for ease of use.
Models of junctional tourniquet could perform differentially by blood loss, time to hemostasis, and user preference.
In a laboratory experiment, 30 users controlled simulated hemorrhage from a manikin (Combat Ready Clamp [CRoC] Trainer) with three iterations each of three junctional tourniquets. There were 270 tests which included hemorrhage control (yes/no), time to hemostasis, and blood volume lost. Users also subjectively ranked tourniquet performance. Models included CRoC, Junctional Emergency Treatment Tool (JETT), and SAM Junctional Tourniquet (SJT). Time to hemostasis and total blood loss were log-transformed and analyzed using a mixed model analysis of variance (ANOVA) with the users represented as random effects and the tourniquet model used as the treatment effect. Preference scores were analyzed with ANOVA, and Tukey’s honest significant difference test was used for all post-hoc pairwise comparisons.
All tourniquet uses were 100% effective for hemorrhage control. For blood loss, CRoC and SJT performed best with least blood loss and were significantly better than JETT; in pairwise comparison, CRoC-JETT (P < .0001) and SJT-JETT (P = .0085) were statistically significant in their mean difference, while CRoC-SJT (P = .35) was not. For time to hemostasis in pairwise comparison, the CRoC had a significantly shorter time compared to JETT and SJT (P < .0001, both comparisons); SJT-JETT was also significant (P = .0087). In responding to the directive, “Rank the performance of the models from best to worst,” users did not prefer junctional tourniquet models differently (P > .5, all models).
The CRoC and SJT performed best in having least blood loss, CRoC performed best in having least time to hemostasis, and users did not differ in preference of model. Models of junctional tourniquet performed differentially by blood loss and time to hemostasis.
KraghJFJr, LunatiMP, KharodCU, CunninghamCW, BaileyJA, StockingerZT, CapAP, ChenJ, AdenJK3d, CancioLC. Assessment of Groin Application of Junctional Tourniquets in a Manikin Model. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2016;31(4):358–363.
The rate of transportation, introduction, dissemination, and spread of nonnative species is increasing despite growing global awareness of the extent and impact of biological invasions. Effective policies are needed to prevent an increase in the significant negative environmental and economic impacts caused by invasive species. Here we explore this issue in the context of the history of invasion and subsequent regulation of cacti introduced to South Africa. We consider seven approaches to restricting trade by banning the following: (1) species already invasive in the region, (2) species invasive anywhere in the world, (3) species invasive anywhere in the world with a climate similar to the target region, (4) genera containing invasive species, (5) growth forms associated with invasiveness, (6) cacti with seed characteristics associated with invasiveness, and (7) the whole family. We evaluate each approach on the basis of the availability and complexity of information required for implementation, including the cost of the research needed to acquire such information, the likely numbers of false positives and false negatives, the likely degree of public acceptance, and the costs of implementation. Following a consultative process, we provide recommendations for how to regulate nonnative cacti in South Africa. The simplest option would be to ban all cacti, but available evidence suggests that most species pose negligible risk of becoming invasive, making this option unreasonable. The other extreme—reactively regulating species once they are invasive—would incur significant control costs, likely result in significant environmental and economic impacts, and limit management goals (e.g., eradication might be unfeasible). We recommended an intermediate option—the banning of all genera containing invasive species. This recommendation has been partly incorporated in South African regulations. Our study emphasizes the importance of scientific research, a legal framework, and participation of stakeholders in assessments. This approach builds awareness, trust, and support, and ensures that all interests are reflected in final regulations, making them easier to implement and enforce.
Protected areas are usually conceived and managed as static entities, although this approach is increasingly viewed as unrealistic given climate change and ecosystem dynamics. The ways in which people use land and/or natural resources within and around protected areas can also shift and evolve temporally but this remains an under-acknowledged challenge for protected area managers. Here we investigate the factors driving a rapid rise in charcoal production within a new, multiple-use protected area in Madagascar, to inform appropriate management responses. We conducted a questionnaire survey of 208 charcoal producers to ascertain the mix of livelihood activities they practised in 2010/2011 and 5 years previously. Respondents had diversified their livelihood activities over time, and cultivation and pastoralism had decreased as primary sources of revenue. Reasons for the growing reliance on charcoal production include the reduced viability of alternative livelihoods (primarily farming), as a result of changing rainfall patterns and the loss of irrigation infrastructure, as well as a growing need for cash to support themselves and their families. Our results suggest that charcoal production is not a desirable activity but a safety net when times are difficult. Conservation efforts to ameliorate underlying factors driving livelihood change, such as dam restoration, could reduce the prevalence of charcoal production, but simultaneous action to cut demand is also required. We recommend that mechanisms to detect, understand and respond to social change are integrated systematically into protected area management planning, alongside traditional biodiversity monitoring.
The local detection of optical response at the sub-wavelength scale on a materials’ surface is an invaluable characterization capability of apertureless scanning near-field optical microscopy (ASNOM). The technique is traditionally realized in amplitude modulation (AM) AFM mode. We have expanded this method by employing an alternative scheme for the detection of the near-field and far-field responses with the use of Hybrid (HD) AFM mode. In HD mode the sample is brought to the intermittent contact with the tip in a periodic oscillation at a frequency (1-2 kHz) much smaller than the probe resonance. In every oscillation cycle the probe deflection to a set-point value is used for surface profiling. For optical measurements the metal coated AFM tip was top-illuminated by visible laser. Simultaneously with surface profiling the light scattered from tip-sample junction was collected by a sensitive photomultiplier (PMT). The homodyne optical signal detection scheme was applied to discriminate near- and far-field optical components. Our method was verified by the studies of various materials (semiconductors, metals, polymers, etc.). The presented results show that the contrast of ASNOM images can be used for compositional mapping of heterogeneous systems.