1,863 research outputs found

    Decomposing the gap in childhood undernutrition between poor and non–poor in urban India, 2005–06

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    Despite the growing evidence from other developing countries, intra-urban inequality in childhood undernutrition is poorly researched in India. Additionally, the factors contributing to the poor/non-poor gap in childhood undernutrition have not been explored. This study aims to quantify the contribution of factors that explain the poor/non-poor gap in underweight, stunting, and wasting among children aged less than five years in urban India.We used cross-sectional data from the third round of the National Family Health Survey conducted during 2005-06. Descriptive statistics were used to understand the gap in childhood undernutrition between the urban poor and non-poor, and across the selected covariates. Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition technique was used to explain the factors contributing to the average gap in undernutrition between poor and non-poor children in urban India.Considerable proportions of urban children were found to be underweight (33%), stunted (40%), and wasted (17%) in 2005-06. The undernutrition gap between the poor and non-poor was stark in urban India. For all the three indicators, the main contributing factors were underutilization of health care services, poor body mass index of the mothers, and lower level of parental education among those living in poverty.The findings indicate that children belonging to poor households are undernourished due to limited use of health care services, poor health of mothers, and poor educational status of their parents. Based on the findings the study suggests that improving the public services such as basic health care and the education level of the mothers among urban poor can ameliorate the negative impact of poverty on childhood undernutrition

    Determinants of neonatal mortality in rural India, 2007-2008.

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    Background. Despite the growing share of neonatal mortality in under-5 mortality in the recent decades in India, most studies have focused on infant and child mortality putting neonatal mortality on the back seat. The development of focused and evidence-based health interventions to reduce neonatal mortality warrants an examination of factors affecting it. Therefore, this study attempt to examine individual, household, and community level factors affecting neonatal mortality in rural India.Data and methods. We analysed information on 171,529 singleton live births using the data from the most recent round of the District Level Household Survey conducted in 2007–08. Principal component analysis was used to create an asset index. Two-level logistic regression was performed to analyse the factors associated with neonatal deaths in rural India.Results. The odds of neonatal death were lower for neonates born to mothers with secondary level education (O R = 0.60, p = 0.01) compared to those born to illiterate mothers. A progressive reduction in the odds occurred as the level of fathers’ education increased. The odds of neonatal death were lower for infants born to unemployed mothers (O R = 0.89, p = 0.00) compared to those who worked as agricultural worker/farmer/laborer. The odds decreased if neonates belonged to Scheduled Tribes (O R = 0.72, p = 0.00) or ‘Others’ caste group (O R = 0.87, p = 0.04) and to the households with access to improved sanitation (O R = 0.87, p = 0.02), pucca house (O R = 0.87, p = 0.03) and electricity (O R = 0.84, p = 0.00). The odds were higher for male infants (O R = 1.21, p = 0.00) and whose mother experienced delivery complications (O R = 1.20, p = 0.00). Infants whose mothers received two tetanus toxoid injections (O R = 0.65, p = 0.00) were less likely to die in the neonatal period. Children of higher birth order were less likely to die compared to first birth order.Conclusion. Ensuring the consumption of an adequate quantity of Tetanus Toxoid (TT) injections by pregnant mothers, targeting vulnerable groups like young, first time and Scheduled Caste mothers, and improving overall household environment by increasing access to improved toilets, electricity, and pucca houses could also contribute to further reductions in neonatal mortality in rural India. Any public health interventions aimed at reducing neonatal death in rural India should consider these factors

    Investigation of brain networks for personalized rTMS in healthy subjects and patients with major depressive disorder: A translational study

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    Depression is a complex psychiatric disorder with emotional dysregulation at its core. The first line of treatment includes cognitive behaviour therapy and pharmacological antidepressants. However, up to one third of patients with depression fail to respond to these treatment interventions. The past decades have seen an increasing use of repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) in clinical studies, as an alternative treatment for depression. Several large-scale, multicentre randomized controlled trials have led the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), USA to approve two rTMS protocols for clinical application in the treatment of depression - 10 Hz rTMS and intermittent Theta Burst Stimulation (iTBS). However, only 30-50% of patients receiving rTMS respond to the treatment. The large variability in response to rTMS likely stems from multiple reasons, one being the targeting method currently employed for delivering rTMS at the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Previous functional connectivity studies have shown that stimulation at left DLPFC targets with larger negative correlation to the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC) may result in greater therapeutic response than those with lower negative correlation. However, current use of rTMS ignores functional connectivity in choosing the left DLPFC target, thus largely discarding functional architectural differences of the brain across subjects. Furthermore, despite widespread clinical use of rTMS, the basic network mechanisms behind these rTMS protocols remain elusive. This work presents a novel personalization method of left DLPFC target selection based on their negative functional connectivity to the sgACC. The default mode network (DMN) is a large-scale brain network commonly involved in self-referential thought processing and plays an essential role in the pathophysiology of depression. I use the novel personalization method and identical study designs to delineate DMN mechanisms from a single session of 10 Hz rTMS and iTBS in healthy subjects. Arguably, an understanding of basic mechanisms of clinically relevant rTMS protocols in healthy subjects will help improve the current therapeutic effect of rTMS, and possibly expand the therapeutic role of rTMS. My work shows, for the first time, strong but different modulations of DMN connectivity by single personalized sessions of 10 Hz rTMS and iTBS. Such modulations can be predicted using the personality trait harm avoidance (HA). Given that initial results show that the method is robust and reproducible, its adaptation to patient cohorts is likely to result in improved therapeutic benefits. Therefore, the novel method of personalization is translated to clinical setting by using accelerated iTBS (aiTBS) in patients with depression. Additionally, a comparison is made between effects resulting from personalized and nonpersonalized (10-20 EEG system F3 position) aiTBS in patients with depression. By evaluating the DMN, and heart rate variability, I show precise modulatory effects of personalized aiTBS, which is not seen in the standard aiTBS group. The work presented here introduces an important method to reduce variability and increase precision in rTMS modulation by personalizing the left DLPFC target selection. Even though DMN and cardiac effects already point towards the advantage of personalization, the still preliminary analysis fails to show significant differences in treatment response. Lack of greater therapeutic benefits viii from personalized aiTBS in this ongoing study probably stems from a still limited sample size. In case personalization proves clinically advantageous to standard iTBS by the final sample size, this work can sediment the first step towards systems medicine in the field of psychiatry.2022-02-0

    Comprehensive Evaluation of Asphalt Mixtures in Arid Climatic conditions

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    Raveling is the leading cause of poor performance in the asphalt-wearing course in Kuwait’s arid climatic conditions. The extreme conditions of Kuwait and poor asphalt mix design characteristics have further accelerated the raveling and deterioration of the in-service asphalt pavements. Combating this issue requires sophisticated asphalt mixture designing. Therefore, very recently, Kuwait has adopted the Qatari Superpave mix design procedure to improve the current condition of the asphalt pavement performance. In this study, a comprehensive evaluation of the existing Superpave mix design was undertaken, and the recommended modifications for the mix design were made to address raveling concerns in Kuwait.To carry out this study, local materials were collected from Kuwait, and their physical properties were evaluated to ensure their conformity with the latest specifications. After this, two mix designs, i.e., the traditional Marshall mix design practiced in Kuwait and the newly adopted Superpave mix design, were prepared as per the Qatari specifications. The performance of the finalized mix designs was evaluated through the indirect tensile strength ratio (TSR), Hamburg wheel-track test (HWTT), dynamic modulus (|E*| referred to as E*), cyclic fatigue (CF), and stress sweep rutting (SSR), at unconditioned (UC) and moisture-conditioned states at one freeze-thaw cycle (1-C) and three freeze-thaw cycles (3-C). The TSR, HWTT, and E* were performed for both the asphalt mix designs. However, the CF and SSR tests were only performed for the Superpave mix design based on the findings from TSR, HWTT and E* test at multiple freeze-thaw cycles and limitations in the material quantities. HWTT results showed that both asphalt mixtures (Marshall and Superpave) exhibited excellent resistance to moisture damage and rutting. TSR test results showed that the Marshall asphalt mixture had higher dry and wet indirect tensile strength (TS) than the Superpave asphalt mixture. However, the TSR values were higher for the Superpave asphalt mixture, indicating that the Marshall asphalt mixture was more susceptible to moisture damage. Similar observations were made for the E* test results, where the Marshall asphalt mixture showed higher stiffness initially than the Superpave asphalt mixture but lower moisture damage resistance than the Superpave asphalt mixture. Overall, HWT, TSR, and E* results showed that the newly adopted Superpave asphalt mixture was successful and proven to improve the moisture damage resistance of the mix compared to the Marshall asphalt mixture.To study the long-term resistance of the Superpave asphalt mixture to raveling, the CF and SSR results were used to assess the properties after multiple freeze-thaw cycles and to predict the asphalt pavement performance using mechanistic analysis. The CF and SSR results for the Superpave asphalt mixture showed that the mix after 3-C state accumulated more damage than the Superpave asphalt mixture at the UC state due to moisture intrusion. The fatigue index parameter (Sapp) showed that the allowable traffic level for Superpave asphalt mixture falls in the standard type category at both, UC and after 3-C state. However, in the rutting strain index (RSI), the Superpave asphalt mixture at the UC state was in the heavy traffic category type, whereas the mix went down to the standard category after 3-C state due to moisture damage. The mechanistic analysis showed that the current pavement structure in Kuwait is under-designed for all the traffic levels (3-30 MESALS). Further, the pavement sections in Kuwait failed in the fatigue cracking, indicating durability concerns throughout the pavement’s design life. Moisture intrusion in the asphalt mixture reduced the pavement’s fatigue and rutting life for all the traffic levels (3, 10, 30 MESALS), consistent with the results obtained from performance testing. Overall, the results showed that the recommended modifications to the current Kuwaiti mix design procedure successfully improved the rutting resistance of the asphalt mixture. However, cracking resistance still needs further improvement for the newly adopted Superpave asphalt mixture

    Peering Across the Filmic Cultural Boundary: An Analysis of Societal and Gender Representation in Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) and Sholay (1975)

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    In contrast to mainstream and blockbuster movies, art house and independent films are usually rooted in a particular sense of self, of culture, or of beliefs. While they may not enjoy the level of exposure or profit as their bigger budget counterparts, they are often more likely to resonate with an audience due to their more personal, less-commodified brand of storytelling. Often, when international film industries are attempting to remake foreign films, they look to these independent, original efforts, since it is unlikely that the big budget movies can be remade due to oftentimes monetary constraints alone. There has existed since the early 20th century a robust adaptive process from Western film into Bollywood, one of the largest film industries in the world; however, film discourse over the last few decades has largely overlooked this phenomenon. This thesis utilizes two seminal works (Once Upon a Time in the West and Sholay) to analyze this adaptive process to gain insight into the language of film and its malleability in the face of its audience and creators, as well as insight into the complexities of both cultures involved. Moreover, given the films\u27 existence in the Western genre, the thesis also explores the ripe interplay of male and female characterization on screen, and how progressiveness and traditionalism favor in transnational adaptations

    “Reflections on American Grand Strategy in Asia” By Ash Carter, October 2018

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    Ash Carter, an academic with considerable experience in the Pentagon as also United States (US) Secretary of Defence from February 2015 to January 2017, is a strategic thinker. This is evident from his treatise on “Reflections on American Grand Strategy in Asia”; which is easily one of the better essays on US President Barack Obama's rebalance' and what should be done for its implementation. It is logically presented and charts the course to be followed to fulfill the medium and long-term interests of the US
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