Publications by authors named "C McKay"

887 Publications

Potential Determinants of Cardio-Metabolic Risk among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2022 Jul 27;19(15). Epub 2022 Jul 27.

Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia.

Prevention initiatives during childhood and adolescence have great potential to address the health inequities experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) populations in Australia by targeting modifiable risk factors for cardio-metabolic diseases. We aimed to synthesize existing evidence about potential determinants of cardio-metabolic risk markers-obesity, elevated blood pressure, elevated blood glucose, abnormal lipids, or a clustering of these factors known as the metabolic syndrome (MetS)-for Indigenous children and adolescents. We systematically searched six databases for journal articles and three websites for relevant grey literature. Included articles ( = 47) reported associations between exposures (or interventions) and one or more of the risk markers among Indigenous participants aged 0-24 years. Data from 18 distinct studies about 41 exposure-outcome associations were synthesized (by outcome: obesity [ = 18]; blood pressure [ = 9]; glucose, insulin or diabetes [ = 4]; lipids [ = 5]; and MetS [ = 5]). Obesity was associated with each of the other cardio-metabolic risk markers. Larger birth size and higher area-level socioeconomic status were associated with obesity; the latter is opposite to what is observed in the non-Indigenous population. There were major gaps in the evidence for other risk markers, as well as by age group, geography, and exposure type. Screening for risk markers among those with obesity and culturally appropriate obesity prevention initiatives could reduce the burden of cardio-metabolic disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159180DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9368168PMC
July 2022

Contralateral dominance to speech in the adult auditory cortex immediately after cochlear implantation.

iScience 2022 Aug 9;25(8):104737. Epub 2022 Jul 9.

Bionics Institute, 384-388 Albert St, East Melbourne, VIC 3002, Australia.

Sensory deprivation causes structural and functional changes in the human brain. Cochlear implantation delivers immediate reintroduction of auditory sensory information. Previous reports have indicated that over a year is required for the brain to reestablish canonical cortical processing patterns after the reintroduction of auditory stimulation. We utilized functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to investigate brain activity to natural speech stimuli directly after cochlear implantation. We presented 12 cochlear implant recipients, who each had a minimum of 12 months of auditory deprivation, with unilateral auditory- and visual-speech stimuli. Regardless of the side of implantation, canonical responses were elicited primarily on the contralateral side of stimulation as early as 1 h after device activation. These data indicate that auditory pathway connections are sustained during periods of sensory deprivation in adults, and that typical cortical lateralization is observed immediately following the reintroduction of auditory sensory input.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2022.104737DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9352526PMC
August 2022

National Survey of United Kingdom Paediatric Allergy Services.

Clin Exp Allergy 2022 Aug 3. Epub 2022 Aug 3.

St. George's, University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.

Background: Comprehensive national assessments of paediatric allergy services are rarely undertaken, and have never been undertaken in the United Kingdom. A 2006 survey estimated national capacity at 30,000 adult or paediatric new allergy appointments per year and identified 58 hospital clinics offering a paediatric allergy service.

Objective: The UK Paediatric Allergy Services Survey was the first comprehensive assessment of UK paediatric allergy service provision.

Methods: All 450 UK hospitals responded to a survey. Paediatric allergy services are provided in 154 lead hospitals with 75 further linked hospitals. All 154 lead paediatric allergy services completed a detailed questionnaire between February 2019 and May 2020.

Results: The 154 paediatric allergy services self-define as secondary (126/154, 82%) or tertiary (28/154, 18%) level services. The annual capacity is 85,600 new and 111,400 follow-up appointments. Fifty-eight percent (85/146) of services offer ≤10 new appointments per week (no data provided from 8 services-2 no response, 6 unknown) and 50% (70/139) of the services undertaking challenges undertake ≤2 food or drug challenges per week (no data from 3 challenge services). Intramuscular adrenaline is rarely used during challenges-median annual frequency 0 in secondary services and 2 in tertiary services. Allergen-specific immunotherapy is offered in 39% (60/154) of services, with 71% (41/58) of these centres treating ≤10 patients per annum (no data from 2 immunotherapy services). The 12 largest services see 31% of all new paediatric allergy appointments, undertake 51% of new immunotherapy patient provision and 33% of food or drug challenges. Seventy percent (97/126) of secondary and all tertiary services are part of a regional paediatric allergy network. Only nine services offer immunotherapy for any food (3 for peanut), 10 drug desensitization and 18 insect venom immunotherapy.

Conclusions: There has been a fourfold increase in paediatric allergy clinics and an approximately sevenfold increase in new patient appointment numbers in the United Kingdom over the past 15 years. Most services are small, with significant regional variation in availability of specific services such as allergen immunotherapy. Our findings emphasize the need for national standards, local networks and simulation training to ensure consistent and safe service provision.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cea.14198DOI Listing
August 2022

Deoxyribonucleic Acid Extraction from Mars Analog Soils and Their Characterization with Solid-State Nanopores.

Astrobiology 2022 08 22;22(8):992-1008. Epub 2022 Jun 22.

David Rittenhouse Laboratory, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Life detection on Mars is an important topic that includes a direct search for biomarkers. This requires instruments for biomarker detection that are compact, lightweight, and able to withstand operations in space. Solid-state nanopores are excellent candidates that allow fast single-molecule detection. They can withstand high temperatures and be sterilized to minimize planetary contamination. The instruments are portable with low-power requirements. We demonstrate a few key results in advancing the use of nanopores for in-space applications. First, we developed modified deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) extraction protocols to extract DNA from Mars analog soils. Second, we used silicon nitride nanopores to demonstrate the detection of extracted DNA and corresponding current characteristics. The yields and properties of extracted DNA (, estimated diameters) varied somewhat by soil types, extraction methods, and nanopores used. The yields varied from a minimum of 0.9 ng DNA/g soil for a magnesium carbonate sample from Lake Salda to a maximum of 210 ng DNA/g soil for a calcium carbonate sample from Trona Pinnacles. For a given soil type, yields from different methods varied by a factor of up to 50. These observations motivate future studies with a broader range of Mars-like soils and improved instruments to increase signal-to-noise-ratio at higher measurement bandwidths.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/ast.2021.0051DOI Listing
August 2022

The relationship between phonological processing and arithmetic in children with learning disabilities.

Dev Sci 2022 Jun 21:e13294. Epub 2022 Jun 21.

Center for the Study of Learning, Department of Pediatrics, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, District of Columbia, USA.

Phonological processing skills have not only been shown to be important for reading skills, but also for arithmetic skills. Specifically, previous research in typically developing children has suggested that phonological processing skills may be more closely related to arithmetic problems that are solved through fact retrieval (e.g., remembering the solution from memory) than procedural computation (e.g., counting). However, the relationship between phonological processing and arithmetic in children with learning disabilities (LDs) has not been investigated. Yet, understanding these relationships in children with LDs is especially important because it can help elucidate the cognitive underpinnings of math difficulties, explain why reading and math disabilities frequently co-occur, and provide information on which cognitive skills to target for interventions. In 63 children with LDs, we examined the relationship between different phonological processing skills (phonemic awareness, phonological memory, and rapid serial naming) and arithmetic. We distinguished between arithmetic problems that tend to be solved with fact retrieval versus procedural computation to determine whether phonological processing skills are differentially related to these two arithmetic processes. We found that phonemic awareness, but not phonological memory or rapid serial naming, was related to arithmetic fact retrieval. We also found no association between any phonological processing skills and procedural computation. These results converge with prior research in typically developing children and suggest that phonemic awareness is also related to arithmetic fact retrieval in children with LD. These results raise the possibility that phonemic awareness training might improve both reading and arithmetic fact retrieval skills. RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS: Relationships between phonological processing and various arithmetic skills were investigated in children with learning disabilities (LDs) for the first time. We found phonemic awareness was related to arithmetic involving fact retrieval, but not to arithmetic involving procedural computation in LDs. The results suggest that phonemic awareness is not only important to skilled reading, but also to some aspects of arithmetic. These results raise the question of whether intervention in phonemic awareness might improve arithmetic fact retrieval skills.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/desc.13294DOI Listing
June 2022
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