198 research outputs found

    Geodesics in Heat

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    We introduce the heat method for computing the shortest geodesic distance to a specified subset (e.g., point or curve) of a given domain. The heat method is robust, efficient, and simple to implement since it is based on solving a pair of standard linear elliptic problems. The method represents a significant breakthrough in the practical computation of distance on a wide variety of geometric domains, since the resulting linear systems can be prefactored once and subsequently solved in near-linear time. In practice, distance can be updated via the heat method an order of magnitude faster than with state-of-the-art methods while maintaining a comparable level of accuracy. We provide numerical evidence that the method converges to the exact geodesic distance in the limit of refinement; we also explore smoothed approximations of distance suitable for applications where more regularity is required

    Autism traits: The importance of “co-morbid” problems for impairment and contact with services. Data from the Bergen Child Study

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    Background: Co-occurring problems are common in individuals with clinical autism spectrum disorder (ASD) but their relevance for impairment and contact with health services in ASD is largely unexplored. Aims: We investigated the extent of co-occurring problems in children with high ASD traits from a total population sample. We explored the contribution of co-occurring problems to impairment and service contact, and whether there were children without co-occurring problems in this group; as proxy for “ASD only”. Methods and procedures: Children screening positive on the Autism Spectrum Screening Questionnaire (ASSQ) were used as proxy for ASD. Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) were operationalised using symptom counts. A parent or teacher report above the 95th percentile counted as “problem” present for other symptom domains. Outcomes and results: 92% of ASSQ high-scorers had a minimum of two other problems. Emotional problems, ADHD symptoms and learning problems were the most commonly reported problems, also predicting impairment and contact with services. Conclusions and implications: Co-occurring problems were common in ASD screen positive children and contributed strongly to both impairment and to contact with services. Gender differences indicated that female symptoms were perceived as less impairing by parents and teachers

    Chronicity of sleep problems in children with chronic illness: a longitudinal population-based study

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>The aim of this study was to examine the chronicity of sleep problems in children with chronic illness, and potential predictors of sleep problems.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>Using data from a longitudinal total population study in Norway, The Bergen Child Study, data on sleep problems, chronic illness and potential confounders were assessed at ages 79 and 1113.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>295 of 4025 (7.3%) children had a chronic illness, and the prevalence of chronic sleep problems was significantly higher in this group compared to children without chronic illness (6.8% versus 3.6%). Sleep problems at the first wave increased the risk of sleep problems at the second wave, also when adjusting for potential confounders (odds-ratio = 5.41). Hyperactivity and emotional problems were also independent risk factors for later sleep problems.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>These findings call for increased awareness and development of treatment strategies of sleep problems in children with chronic illness.</p

    Is there a protective effect of normal to high intellectual function on mental health in children with chronic illness?

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>High intellectual function is considered as a protective factor for children's mental health. Few studies have investigated the effect of intellectual function on mental health in children with chronic illness (CI). The aim of the present study was twofold: First, we asked if <it>normal to high </it>intellectual function (IQ) has a protective effect on mental health in children with CI, and secondly, if this effect is more substantial than in their peers (NCI).</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>The participants were selected among children who participated in the Bergen Child Study (BCS): 96 children with CI (the CI-group) and 96 children without CI (the NCI-group). The groups were matched on intellectual function as measured by the WISC-III by selecting the same number of children from three levels of the Full Scale IQ Score (FSIQ): "very low" (<70),"low" (70 to 84), or "normal to high" (>84). CI was reported by parents as part of a diagnostic interview (Kiddie-SADS-PL) that also generated the mental health measures used in the present study: the presence of a DSM-IV psychiatric diagnosis and the score on the Children's Global Assessment Scale.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>The risk of a psychiatric diagnosis was significantly lower for children with a normal to high FSIQ-level than for children with a very low and low FSIQ-level in the CI-group as well as in the NCI-group. The group differences were statistically non-significant for all three FSIQ-levels, and the effect of the interaction between the group-variable (CI/NCI) and the FSIQ-level was non-significant on both measures of mental health.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>The present study showed a protective effect of normal to high intellectual function on children's mental health. This protective effect was not more substantial in children with CI than in children without CI.</p

    Prenatal and Neonatal Factors Predicting Sleep Problems in Children Born Extremely Preterm or With Extremely Low Birthweight

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    Objective: Prematurely born children have been reported to have more sleep problems throughout childhood than children born at term. The aim of this study was to explore if prenatal or neonatal factors can predict sleep problems at age 11 years in children born extremely preterm (EPT).Method: A prospective observational study of all infants who were born EPT in Norway in 1999 and 2000. Prenatal and neonatal data were collected by all Norwegian obstetric and pediatric departments. Parental questionnaire mapped sleep problems and sleep habits at the age of 11 years.Results: Of the 372 eligible children, 221 participated. Of those, 28.1% snored, 27.5% had difficulty falling asleep or frequent awakenings and 17.2% suffered from daytime sleepiness. The mean sleep duration was 9.4 h (range 4.3–11.0 h). Smoking in pregnancy predicted snoring (odds ratio 4.3). Neonatal cerebral hemorrhage and being born small for gestational age predicted difficulty falling asleep or frequent awakenings (odds ratio 2.2 and 2.3). Other morbidities during pregnancy or the newborn period, gestational age or the burden of treatment in the neonatal intensive care unit did not predict sleep problems. None of the studied prenatal or neonatal factors predicted daytime sleepiness or sleep duration &lt;9 h.Conclusion: Of numerous prenatal and neonatal factors, only smoking during pregnancy, being born small for gestational age and cerebral hemorrhage predicted sleep problems at 11 years of age among these children born EPT

    A hybrid multi-particle approach to range assessment-based treatment verification in particle therapy

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    Particle therapy (PT) used for cancer treatment can spare healthy tissue and reduce treatment toxicity. However, full exploitation of the dosimetric advantages of PT is not yet possible due to range uncertainties, warranting development of range-monitoring techniques. This study proposes a novel range-monitoring technique introducing the yet unexplored concept of simultaneous detection and imaging of fast neutrons and prompt-gamma rays produced in beam-tissue interactions. A quasimonolithic organic detector array is proposed, and its feasibility for detecting range shifts in the context of proton therapy is explored through Monte Carlo simulations of realistic patient models and detector resolution efects. The results indicate that range shifts of 1 mm can be detected at relatively low proton intensities (22.30(13) × 107 protons/spot) when spatial information obtained through imaging of both particle species are used simultaneously. This study lays the foundation for multiparticle detection and imaging systems in the context of range verifcation in PTpublishedVersio

    Causes and risk factors for common mental illnesses : the beliefs of paediatric hospital staff in the United Arab Emirates

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    Background Children and adolescents with chronic physical health conditions are vulnerable to poor mental health outcomes. The measurement of mental health literacy of health professionals working with such populations is important because of their role in promoting early and appropriate help-seeking. This study sought to determine the beliefs regarding the causes of and risks factors for three types of mental illnesses amongst health professionals in United Arab Emirates. Method A culturally validated mental health literacy survey presenting three vignettes of fictional characters meeting diagnostic criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder, depression with suicidal thoughts and psychosis was distributed. The survey measured health care professionals’ beliefs regarding the causes of and risk factors for these disorders. Results A total of 317 health care professional (> 90% nurses) were surveyed from across the UAE. Although 43.8% correctly endorsed exposure to a ‘traumatic event’ as the most likely cause for developing posttraumatic stress disorder, there was a more limited understanding of the contribution of biopsychosocial factors to the development of the mental illness, particularly for psychosis. Participant socio-demographic variables were associated with attributions of religious or spiritual beliefs and personal weakness as causal and/or vulnerability factors in the development of depression with suicidal thoughts and psychosis. Conclusions Efforts to improve mental health systems and health care providers in UAE and other similar Middle Eastern countries requires targeted mental health literacy programs that seek to integrate biopsychosocial models of mental illness and their treatment with the positive aspects of religious and cultural beliefs that are dominant in this region