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Olive oil (OO) polyphenols have been shown to improve HDL anti-atherogenic function, thus demonstrating beneficial effects against cardiovascular risk factors. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of extra virgin high polyphenol olive oil (HPOO) v. low polyphenol olive oil (LPOO) on the capacity of HDL to promote cholesterol efflux in healthy adults. In a double-blind, randomised cross-over trial, fifty participants (aged 38·5 (sd 13·9) years, 66 % females) were supplemented with a daily dose (60 ml) of HPOO (320 mg/kg polyphenols) or LPOO (86 mg/kg polyphenols) for 3 weeks. Following a 2-week washout period, participants crossed over to the alternate treatment. Serum HDL-cholesterol efflux capacity, circulating lipids (i.e. total cholesterol, TAG, HDL, LDL) and anthropometrics were measured at baseline and follow-up. No significant between-group differences were observed. Furthermore, no significant changes in HDL-cholesterol efflux were found within either the LPOO and HPOO treatment arms; mean changes were 0·54 % (95 % CI (0·29, 1·37)) and 0·10 % (95 % CI (0·74, 0·94)), respectively. Serum HDL increased significantly after LPOO and HPOO intake by 0·13 mmol/l (95 % CI (0·04, 0·22)) and 0·10 mmol/l (95 % CI (0·02, 0·19)), respectively. A small but significant increase in LDL of 0·14 mmol/l (95 % CI (0·001, 0·28)) was observed following the HPOO intervention. Our results suggest that additional research is warranted to further understand the effect of OO with different phenolic content on mechanisms of cholesterol efflux via different pathways in multi-ethnic populations with diverse diets.
The Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 led to extensive new government regulations and lockdown policies that, according to some prominent definitions, severely reduced economic freedom. However, many of these new pandemic-related regulatory restrictions on economic freedom are largely missed by the Economic Freedom of the World Report (EFW). This paper first adjusts the Our World in Data Covid-19 Stringency Index into a measure of lockdown regulatory freedom and then merges it into the EFW index to better measure countries' 2020 cross-sectional relative economic freedom. We find significant differences in the relative ranking of economic freedom between countries once we adjust for lockdown regulatory restrictions.
Pietraszewski proposes four triadic “primitives” for representing social groups. We argue that, despite surface differences, these triads can all be reduced to similar underlying welfare trade-off ratios, which are a better candidate for social group primitives. Welfare trade-off ratios also have limitations, however, and we suggest there are multiple computational strategies by which people recognize and reason about social groups.
An assemblage of 34 chiton valves collected from rocks of the “Imperial” Formation sensu lato at Super Creek near Palm Springs, California, is described here. The sedimentary rocks exposed at Super Creek were deposited in the proto-Gulf of California during the Late Miocene. This chiton assemblage represents the first reported Miocene chitons from western North America. The chiton valves are classified as Callistochiton cf. C. elenensis, Chaetopleura cf. C. lanuginosa mixta, Calloplax roederi n. sp., Chiton solaris n. sp., Callistoplacidae sp. indet., and Chaetopleuridae sp. indet. Thick valves dominate the assemblage. The chiton fossils reflect the overall faunal pattern from the “Imperial” Formation s.l. of a strong similarity to taxa in the modern Gulf of California, with a Caribbean component as well. This assemblage fills a gap in the chiton fossil record and preserves details of the adaptive radiation of the Polyplacophora that occurred at the time in concert with the onset of an upwelling regime.
There is limited understanding of treatment pathways for paediatric sleep-disordered breathing. This study explored current UK pathways and what is important to well-being for parents and children.
The study comprised in-depth qualitative interviews (n = 22) with parents of children (2–9 years) with symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing referred to a regional ENT clinic (n = 11), general practitioners who might refer these children to ENT (n = 5) and hospital doctors involved in treating these children (n = 6). Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, anonymised and analysed thematically.
General practitioners rarely identify seeing children with sleep-disordered breathing; conversely hospital doctors identify unsuspected issues. Parents are worried their child will stop breathing, but routes to referral and diagnosis are not straightforward. Modern technology can aid investigation and diagnosis. Patient weight is an issue for general practitioners and hospital doctors. Adenotonsillectomy is the treatment of choice, and information on paediatric sleep-disordered breathing is needed.
Guidelines for the management of paediatric sleep-disordered breathing are needed.
In this paper we propose the concept of ‘becoming-with’ in relation to the experience of the catastrophic fires in the summer of 2019–2020 in Australia, and their implications for research into young children’s response to bushfires, and their learning about bushfire recovery, which resulted in the development of an arts-based project to explore emergent curriculum and pedagogies for planetary wellbeing. We draw on Deleuze and Guattari’s theorising that ‘the self is only a threshold, a door, a becoming between two multiplicities’; and ‘Spatio-temporal relations’ as ‘not predicates of the thing but dimensions of multiplicities of events as encounters’ to theorise how ‘becoming-with’ fires enabled the development of emergent curriculum and pedagogies in an early learning centre, which can ultimately contribute to planetary wellbeing.
As countries adopt strict quarantines and lockdowns, increasing attention has been given to the impact on mental wellbeing. The influence of this on perinatal mental health and service provision is important to consider, as these women may be particularly vulnerable to the negative effects already seen in general and psychiatric populations.
The impact on global mental health of Covid-19, and the isolation measures used to combat it’s spread, is increasingly acknowledged. We were interested in the effect the pandemic has had specifically on the mental health of women in the peripartum period. By reflecting on our experiences, we hope to generate ideas to improve services.
We considered the effects of the pandemic in this high-risk population during each stage of contact with services. This included pre-conception, antenatal and postnatal periods, as well as the potential longitudinal and service effects. Recent case examples were identified and described from our busy and diverse South London perinatal psychiatry service.
Recent referrals to our service suggest the current crisis has been a key trigger for the deterioration of many women’s mental health. This includes women who have been impacted by various factors related to the pandemic, at all stages of the perinatal period.
It is vital to maintain equality of access to perinatal services and to continue to consider how to deliver best care. This will involve adapting to the new working environment, and optimising care delivery using remote technologies where appropriate, in a way that is safe, accessible and acceptable to service users.
Effective mentoring is a key mechanism propelling successful research and academic careers, particularly for early career scholars. Most mentoring programs focus on models pairing senior and early career researchers, with limited focus on peer mentoring. Peer mentoring may be especially advantageous within emerging areas such as implementation science (IS) where challenges to traditional mentoring may be more prevalent. This special communication highlights the value of peer mentoring by describing a case study of an early career IS peer mentoring group. We delineate our curriculum and structure; support and processes; and products and outcomes. We highlight important group member characteristics to consider during group formation and continuation. The group’s long-term (6 years) success was attributed to the balance of similarities and differences among group members. Members were in a similar career phase and used similar methodologies but studied different health topics at different institutions. Group members gave and received instrumental and psychosocial support and shared resources and knowledge. Peer mentoring can serve an important function to provide emotional, logistical, and professional development support for early career scholars. Our case study highlights strategies to foster peer mentoring groups that provide a generalizable blueprint and opportunity for improved outcomes for early career professionals.
Understanding risk factors for death from Covid-19 is key to providing good quality clinical care. We assessed the presenting characteristics of the ‘first wave’ of patients with Covid-19 at Royal Oldham Hospital, UK and undertook logistic regression modelling to investigate factors associated with death. Of 470 patients admitted, 169 (36%) died. The median age was 71 years (interquartile range 57–82), and 255 (54.3%) were men. The most common comorbidities were hypertension (n = 218, 46.4%), diabetes (n = 143, 30.4%) and chronic neurological disease (n = 123, 26.1%). The most frequent complications were acute kidney injury (AKI) (n = 157, 33.4%) and myocardial injury (n = 21, 4.5%). Forty-three (9.1%) patients required intubation and ventilation, and 39 (8.3%) received non-invasive ventilation. Independent risk factors for death were increasing age (odds ratio (OR) per 10 year increase above 40 years 1.87, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.57–2.27), hypertension (OR 1.72, 95% CI 1.10–2.70), cancer (OR 2.20, 95% CI 1.27–3.81), platelets <150 × 103/μl (OR 1.93, 95% CI 1.13–3.30), C-reactive protein ≥100 μg/ml (OR 1.68, 95% CI 1.05–2.68), >50% chest radiograph infiltrates (OR 2.09, 95% CI 1.16–3.77) and AKI (OR 2.60, 95% CI 1.64–4.13). There was no independent association between death and gender, ethnicity, deprivation level, fever, SpO2/FiO2, lymphopoenia or other comorbidities. These findings will inform clinical and shared decision making, including use of respiratory support and therapeutic agents.
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.
Fungal otitis externa is prevalent in tropical and sub-tropical climates; however, over the past two decades, there has been a reported increase in the prevalence of otomycosis in paediatric patients from more temperate climates. This study aimed to review the children diagnosed with otomycosis at the University Hospital Limerick with reference to frequency, causative organism, predisposing factors and management.
A retrospective review was conducted of paediatric patients from 2001 to 2015. Patients with positive fungal ear swabs and a diagnosis of otomycosis were identified.
Ninety-three patients were positive for candida (mean age, 5.8 years), 10 patients were positive for aspergillus (mean age, 9.1 years) and 1 patient had mixed fungal infection containing both fungi. There was a positive correlation between a diagnosis of otomycosis and prior treatment with topical fluoroquinolones (r = 0.8; p < 0.01).
The incidence of otomycosis has been increasing since 2001, which correlates with an increase in the use of topical fluoroquinolones. Previous studies identify aspergillus as the commonest causative fungi; however, this study found that candida was the commonest isolated fungi in the paediatric population.
Crocodilians are distributed widely through the tropics and subtropics, and several species pose a substantial threat to human life. This has important implications for human safety and crocodilian conservation. Understanding the drivers of crocodilian attacks on people could help minimize future attacks and inform conflict management. Crocodilian attacks follow a seasonal pattern in many regions, but there has been limited analysis of the relationship between attack occurrence and fine-scale contemporaneous environmental conditions. We use methods from environmental niche modelling to explore the relationships between attacks on people and abiotic predictors at a daily temporal resolution for the Nile crocodile Crocodylus niloticus in South Africa and Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), and the American alligator Alligator mississippiensis in Florida, USA. Our results indicate that ambient daily temperature is the most important abiotic temporal predictor of attack occurrence for both species, with attack likelihood increasing markedly when mean daily temperatures exceed 18 °C and peaking at 28 °C. It is likely that this relationship is explained partially by human propensity to spend time in and around water in warmer weather but also by the effect of temperature on crocodilian hunting behaviour and physiology, especially the ability to digest food. We discuss the potential of our findings to contribute to the management of crocodilians, with benefits for both human safety and conservation, and the application of environmental niche modelling for understanding human–wildlife conflicts involving both ectotherms and endotherms.
Mastoiditis is the most common intra-temporal complication of acute otitis media. Despite potentially lethal sequelae, optimal management remains poorly defined.
A retrospective case review was conducted of children diagnosed with mastoiditis at a tertiary referral centre, in North East England, between 2010 and 2017.
Fifty-one cases were identified, 49 without cholesteatoma. Median patient age was 42 months (2 months to 18 years) and median hospital stay was 4 days (range, 0–27 days). There was no incidence trend over time. Imaging was conducted in 15 out of 49 cases. Surgery was performed in 29 out of 49 cases, most commonly mastoidectomy with (9 out of 29) or without (9 out of 29) grommets. Complications included sigmoid sinus thrombosis (3 out of 49) and extradural abscess (2 out of 51), amongst others; no fatalities occurred.
A detailed contemporary description of paediatric mastoiditis presentation and management is presented. The findings broadly mirror those published by other UK centres, but suggest a higher rate of identified disease complications and surgical interventions.
Epidemiological studies have reported that the increased risk of developing psychosis in cannabis users is dose related. In addition, experimental research has shown that the active constituent of cannabis responsible for its psychotogenic effect is Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (Murray et al, 2007). Recent evidence has suggested an increased in potency (% TCH) in the cannabis seized in the UK (Potter et al, 2007).
We predicted that first episode psychosis patients are more likely to use higher potency cannabis and more frequently than controls.
We collected information concerning socio-demographic, clinical characteristics and cannabis use (age at first use, frequency, length of use, type of cannabis used) from a sample of 191 first-episode psychosis patients and 120 matched healthy volunteers. All were recruited as part of the Genetic and Psychosis (GAP) study which studied all patients who presented to the South London and Maudsley Trust.
There was no significant difference in the life-time prevalence of cannabis use or age at first use between cases and controls. However, cases were more likely to be regular users (p=0.05), to be current users (p=0.04) and to have smoked cannabis for longer (p=0.01). Among cannabis users, 86.8% of 1st Episode Psychosis Patients preferentially used Skunk/Sinsemilla compared to 27.7% of Controls. Only 13.2 % of 1st Episode psychosis Patients chose to use Resin/Hash compared to 76.3% of controls. The concentration of TCH in these in South East London, ranges between 8.5 and 14 % (Potter et al, 2007). Controls (47%) were more likely to use Hash (Resin) whose average TCH concentration is 3.4% (Potter et al, 2007).
Patients with first episode psychosis have smoked higher potency cannabis, for longer and with greater frequency, than healthy controls.
The functional Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT Val 108/158 Met) polymorphism has been shown to have an impact on tasks of executive function, memory and attention and recently, tasks with an affective component. As estrogen may downregulate COMT, we were interested in the effect of gender, COMT genotype and the interaction between these factors on brain activations during an affective processing task. We used functional MRI to record brain activations from 74 healthy subjects who engaged in a facial affect recognition task; subjects viewed and identified fearful faces compared to neutral faces. We found a significant effect of gender on brain activations in the left amygdala and right superior temporal gyrus, where females demonstrated increased activations over males. Within these regions, female val/val carriers showed greater activity compared to met/met carriers, while male participants with a met/met allele showed greater deactivations compared to val/val carriers. There was no main effect of the COMT polymorphism, gender or genotype by gender interaction on task performance. We propose that the observed effects of gender and COMT allele on brain activations arise from differences in dopamine levels in these groups and that the gender differences and gender genotype interaction may be due to the downregulation of COMT by estrogen.
The interest in experiencing training abroad has grown and its benefits have been progressively recognized. For these reasons, several psychiatric trainees seek to extend their competencies, skills and knowledge through these exchange opportunities, such as the European Federation of Psychiatric Trainees (EFPT) Exchange Programme.
With this work we intend to describe these international experiences of being acquainted with a different health system and psychiatry training programme.
Reflect on the impact of these experiences, considering on how these can be used to benefit the patient care provided across countries, further to the professional and personal individual benefits that colleagues gain.
Presenting the testimonials of junior doctors from abroad that have had the opportunity to observe and collaborate in the current system of the United Kingdom.
The EFPT Exchange Programme is an excellent opportunity for psychiatry trainees to share experiences, knowledge and good practices. The cultural and social framework of psychiatry certainly has an impact on the approach to mental health problems, and being knowledgeable of these differences can provide benefits not only to the junior doctors who complete these exchanges abroad, but also to their colleagues working at their hosting institutions that become acquainted with different realities through their presence and feedback.
The benefits of these exchange mobility experiences are unequivocal. Therefore, it is fundamental to share these experiences and promote these opportunities.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Carceral states rely on incarceration of an exceptionally large number of their citizens, typically accompanied by a diversity of supplemental methods of criminal justice control. The United States of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century is such a carceral state. In the words of political scientist Marie Gottschalk (2015: 1): “a tenacious carceral state has sprouted in the shadows of mass imprisonment and has been extending its reach far beyond the prison gate. It includes not only the country’s vast archipelago of jails and prisons, but also the far-reaching and growing range of penal punishments and controls that lies in the never-never land between the prison gates and full citizenship.” And indeed, jails and prisons in America today are supplemented by expanding probation and parole systems, community sanctions, drug courts, immigrant detention and deportation, public stigmatization of released sex offenders, and the disenfranchisement of ex-felons.