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    48934 results match your criteria Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences[Journal]

    1 OF 979

    Major challenges for correlational ecological niche model projections to future climate conditions.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 Jun 20. Epub 2018 Jun 20.
    Centro de Agroecología y Ambiente, Instituto de Ciencias, Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, Puebla, Puebla, México.
    Species-level forecasts of distributional potential and likely distributional shifts, in the face of changing climates, have become popular in the literature in the past 20 years. Many refinements have been made to the methodology over the years, and the result has been an approach that considers multiple sources of variation in geographic predictions, and how that variation translates into both specific predictions and uncertainty in those predictions. Although numerous previous reviews and overviews of this field have pointed out a series of assumptions and caveats associated with the methodology, three aspects of the methodology have important impacts but have not been treated previously in detail. Read More

    Telemedicine as a tool for digital medical education: a 15-year journey inside the RAFT network.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 Jun 19. Epub 2018 Jun 19.
    Department of Radiology and Medical Informatics, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.
    This paper presents the evolution and growth of continuous medical education through the Réseau en Afrique Francophone pour la Télémédecine (RAFT) network. RAFT is a telemedicine network present on four continents and built through years of experience, with the goal of supporting isolated healthcare professionals by providing them with the right expertise at the right time using affordable, low-bandwidth technologies. Much more than a platform to share and exchange knowledge, RAFT has put in place a solid local infrastructure to ensure the sustainability and maintenance of the network. Read More

    Molecular landscape of esophageal cancer: implications for early detection and personalized therapy.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 Jun 19. Epub 2018 Jun 19.
    Section of Mechanisms of Carcinogenesis, International Agency for Research on Cancer (WHO), Lyon, France.
    Esophageal cancer (EC) is one of the most lethal cancers and a public health concern worldwide, owing to late diagnosis and lack of efficient treatment. Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) are main histopathological subtypes of EC that show striking differences in geographical distribution, possibly due to differences in exposure to risk factors and lifestyles. ESCC and EAC are distinct diseases in terms of cell of origin, epidemiology, and molecular architecture of tumor cells. Read More

    Exposure to hypoglycemia and risk of stroke.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 Jun 19. Epub 2018 Jun 19.
    Cerebral Vascular Disease Research Laboratories, University of Miami, Miami, Florida.
    In the treatment of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus, maintaining a euglycemic state represents one of the key challenges. Improper dosing and administration of glucose-lowering drugs is associated with an increased risk of recurrent hypoglycemia episodes. In addition, the risk of adverse cardiovascular events in diabetic patients, particularly myocardial infarctions and strokes, is well established. Read More

    Inflammasomes in stroke: a triggering role for acid-sensing ion channels.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 Jun 19. Epub 2018 Jun 19.
    Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India.
    Stroke is devastating and a major cause of morbidity and mortality around the world. The innate immune response plays an important role in various brain injuries, including stroke, and targeting it for therapeutic interventions would likely prove beneficial. The panoply of inflammatory cells, which induce various cellular, hormonal, and biochemical alterations, mediates the rapid progression of injury in stroke. Read More

    Neural basis of bilingual language control.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 Jun 19. Epub 2018 Jun 19.
    Centre for Neurolinguistics and Psycholinguistics, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy.
    Acquiring and speaking a second language increases demand on the processes of language control for bilingual as compared to monolingual speakers. Language control for bilingual speakers involves the ability to keep the two languages separated to avoid interference and to select one language or the other in a given conversational context. This ability is what we refer with the term "bilingual language control" (BLC). Read More

    Using patient cases to educate health professionals, patients, institutions, and society: the swallowing disorder example.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 Jun 13. Epub 2018 Jun 13.
    Teaching Center, Unified Patient Program, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
    The problems and symptoms of patients are at the heart of medicine and pertinent to information, communication, and education. Patients present their problems to health professionals looking for relief and a cure, while institutions collect data about symptoms of patients and the way health professionals treated them to support society's care providers in administrating and managing care. The information on the problems of patients and the way health professionals treated them, which is gathered and stored in patient files, is valuable as educational material in the field of medicine. Read More

    Sm-p80-based vaccine trial in baboons: efficacy when mimicking natural conditions of chronic disease, praziquantel therapy, immunization, and Schistosoma mansoni re-encounter.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 Jun 11. Epub 2018 Jun 11.
    School of Medicine, Center for Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas.
    Sm-p80-based vaccine efficacy for Schistosoma mansoni was evaluated in a baboon model of infection and disease. The study was designed to replicate a human vaccine implementation scenario for endemic regions in which vaccine would be administered following drug treatment of infected individuals. In our study, the Sm-p80-based vaccine reduced principal pathology producing hepatic egg burdens by 38. Read More

    The esophagiome: integrated anatomical, mechanical, and physiological analysis of the esophago-gastric segment.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 Jun 10. Epub 2018 Jun 10.
    GIOME, Department of Surgery, Prince of Wales Hospital and Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong SAR.
    Esophageal diseases are highly prevalent and carry significant socioeconomic burden. Despite the apparently simple function of the esophagus, we still struggle to better understand its physiology and pathophysiology. The assessment of large data sets and application of multiscale mathematical organ models have gained attention as part of the Physiome Project. Read More

    Tissue protein biomarker candidates to predict progression of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and precancerous lesions.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 Jun 8. Epub 2018 Jun 8.
    Department of Cancer Epidemiology, National Cancer Center/Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China.
    Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is one of the most predominant malignancies worldwide. The 5-year survival rate is still relatively low due to few symptoms presenting with the early disease, diagnosis at middle to late stage, and high risk of recurrence after therapy. Novel protein biomarkers for early detection and treatment of ESCC have the potential to reduce incidence and mortality rates, and significantly prolong the 5-year survival rate. Read More

    Methylene blue protects dopaminergic neurons against MPTP-induced neurotoxicity by upregulating brain-derived neurotrophic factor.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 Jun 7. Epub 2018 Jun 7.
    College of Pharmacy, Yeungnam University, Gyeongsan, Republic of Korea.
    The relatively old, yet clinically used, drug methylene blue (MB) is known to possess neuroprotective properties by reducing aggregated proteins, augmenting the antioxidant response, and enhancing mitochondrial function and survival in various models of neurodegenerative diseases. In this study, we aimed to examine the effects of MB in Parkinson's disease (PD) in vivo and in vitro models by using 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)/1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP ) with a focus on possible effects on induction of neurotrophic factors. Our results indicate that pretreatment with MB significantly attenuated MPTP-induced loss of dopaminergic neurons, glial cell activation, and depletion of dopamine. Read More

    Precision medicine for multiple sclerosis promotes preventative medicine.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 May;1420(1):62-71
    UT Southwestern Medical Center, Department of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics, Neuroinnovation Program, Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology Imaging Program, Clinical Center for Multiple Sclerosis, Dallas, Texas.
    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, lifelong disease, currently without a cure that is responsible for significant neurological injury in young adults. Precision medicine for MS aims to provide a more exacting and refined approach toward management by providing recommendations based on disease subtype, clinical status, existing radiological data, para-clinical data, and other biological markers. To achieve better outcomes, the three stages of care-diagnosis, treatment, and management-should be optimized. Read More

    Applications of genomics to slow the spread of multidrug-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 Jun 6. Epub 2018 Jun 6.
    Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts.
    Infections with Neisseria gonorrhoeae, a sexually transmitted pathogen that causes urethritis, cervicitis, and more severe complications, are increasing. Gonorrhea is typically treated with antibiotics; however, N. gonorrhoeae has rapidly acquired resistance to many antibiotic classes, and lineages with reduced susceptibility to the currently recommended therapies are emerging worldwide. Read More

    The story of life: critical insights from evolutionary biology.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 Jun 6. Epub 2018 Jun 6.
    Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
    The notion that humans, in all their complexity, are merely an evolutionary accident, an insignificant speck in a boundless cosmos, is deeply unsatisfying for most nonscientists and fails to resonate with their life experience. What, then, can evolutionary biology ultimately tell us about the meaning of our lives? In conversation with Steve Paulson, executive producer and host of To the Best of Our Knowledge, paleoanthropologists Melanie Lee Chang and Ian Tattersall, and paleontologist Simon Conway Morris share their insights on these competing concepts and explain how meaning and purpose can be gleaned from the remarkable story of life itself. Read More

    From multisensory integration in peripersonal space to bodily self-consciousness: from statistical regularities to statistical inference.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 Jun 6. Epub 2018 Jun 6.
    MySpace Lab, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV), University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.
    Integrating information across sensory systems is a critical step toward building a cohesive representation of the environment and one's body, and as illustrated by numerous illusions, scaffolds subjective experience of the world and self. In the last years, classic principles of multisensory integration elucidated in the subcortex have been translated into the language of statistical inference understood by the neocortical mantle. Most importantly, a mechanistic systems-level description of multisensory computations via probabilistic population coding and divisive normalization is actively being put forward. Read More

    Abnormal gene methylation during embryonic development after preimplantation genetic testing increases risk of liver-derived insulin resistance.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 Jun 5. Epub 2018 Jun 5.
    State Key Laboratory of Reproductive Medicine, Department of Histology and Embryology, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China.
    The operations involved in preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) occur during the key stages of gametogenesis and early embryonic development, and the health of progeny following PGT (PGT-born) is worthy of attention. In order to fully assess the potential risk of abnormal glucose metabolism in adult PGT-born offspring and to evaluate possible mechanisms, we compared a mouse model of PGT (in vitro cultured embryos with biopsy, hereafter "PTG-born mice"), an in vitro embryo manipulation mouse model (in vitro cultured embryos without biopsy), and normal mice. PGT-born mice displayed increased fasting glucose, and decreased glycogen synthesis and glucose oxidative utilization in the liver. Read More

    Perspectives of regional paleoclimate modeling.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 Jun 4. Epub 2018 Jun 4.
    Institute of Coastal Research, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Geesthacht, Germany.
    Regional climate modeling bridges the gap between the coarse resolution of current global climate models and the regional-to-local scales, where the impacts of climate change are of primary interest. Here, we present a review of the added value of the regional climate modeling approach within the scope of paleoclimate research and discuss the current major challenges and perspectives. Two time periods serve as an example: the Holocene, including the Last Millennium, and the Last Glacial Maximum. Read More

    Neuroimaging, neuromodulation, and population health: the neuroscience of chronic disease prevention.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 Jun 4. Epub 2018 Jun 4.
    Department of Psychology, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.
    Preventable chronic diseases are the leading cause of death in the majority of countries throughout the world, and this trend will continue for the foreseeable future. The potential to offset the social, economic, and personal burdens associated with such conditions depends on our ability to influence people's thought processes, decisions, and behaviors, all of which can be understood with reference to the brain itself. Within the health neuroscience framework, the brain can be viewed as a predictor, mediator, moderator, or outcome in relation to health-related phenomena. Read More

    Individualization of music-based rhythmic auditory cueing in Parkinson's disease.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 Jun 4. Epub 2018 Jun 4.
    EuroMov, Montpellier University, Montpellier, France.
    Gait dysfunctions in Parkinson's disease can be partly relieved by rhythmic auditory cueing. This consists in asking patients to walk with a rhythmic auditory stimulus such as a metronome or music. The effect on gait is visible immediately in terms of increased speed and stride length. Read More

    Risk factors for esophageal cancer: emphasis on infectious agents.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 May 31. Epub 2018 May 31.
    Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
    Risk factors for esophageal cancer include genetic factors (such as tylosis) and infectious agents. A variety of organisms have been implicated in esophageal carcinogenesis, either directly or indirectly. In this review, we explore the normal esophageal flora and how it may be controlled, and also the variety of organisms that may affect esophageal carcinogenesis, either directly or indirectly. Read More

    Regulatory actions of 3',5'-cyclic adenosine monophosphate on osteoclast function: possible roles of Epac-mediated signaling.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 May 30. Epub 2018 May 30.
    Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.
    Alterations in cellular levels of the second messenger 3',5'-cyclic adenosine monophosphate ([cAMP] ) regulate a wide range of physiologically important cellular signaling processes in numerous cell types. Osteoclasts are terminally differentiated, multinucleated cells specialized for bone resorption. Their systemic regulator, calcitonin, triggers morphometrically and pharmacologically distinct retraction (R) and quiescence (Q) effects on cell-spread area and protrusion-retraction motility, respectively, paralleling its inhibition of bone resorption. Read More

    Neuroautonomic activity evidences parturition as a complex and integrated neuro-immune-endocrine process.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 May 28. Epub 2018 May 28.
    Biological and Health Sciences Division, Campus Lerma, Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM), Lerma, Mexico.
    Parturition in mammals demands a precise coordination of several neuro-immune-endocrine interactions including: a sterile inflammatory response that involves secretion of inflammation mediators like cytokines/chemokines; changes in the secretion of hormones such as progestogen, estrogens, cortisol, and oxytocin; as well as adjustments of the neuroautonomic function. Specifically, the so-called cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway seems to play a key role in the homeostasis of the neuro-immune-endocrine axis by adjusting the vagus nerve activity during parturition. Here, we provide insights into the importance of the vagus during parturition from an autonomic, endocrine, and immune interplay perspective, and describe the potential role of heart rate variability analysis to explore these interactions noninvasively, economically, and accessibly. Read More

    The Arctic's sea ice cover: trends, variability, predictability, and comparisons to the Antarctic.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 May 28. Epub 2018 May 28.
    National Snow and Ice Data Center, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado.
    As assessed over the period of satellite observations, October 1978 to present, there are downward linear trends in Arctic sea ice extent for all months, largest at the end of the melt season in September. The ice cover is also thinning. Downward trends in extent and thickness have been accompanied by pronounced interannual and multiyear variability, forced by both the atmosphere and ocean. Read More

    Effects of inflammation on social processes and implications for health.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 May 28. Epub 2018 May 28.
    Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California.
    Although at first glance inflammation and social behavior may appear unrelated, research points to an important role for inflammation in shaping social processes. This review summarizes findings in this field, specifically highlighting work that provides support for the idea that inflammation can lead to (1) increases in sensitivity to negative, threatening social experiences and (2) increases in sensitivity to positive, socially rewarding experiences. These diverging sensitivities in response to inflammation may depend on context and be adaptive for recuperation and recovery from illness. Read More

    How attention gates social interactions.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 May 25. Epub 2018 May 25.
    Department of Psychology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
    Social interactions are at the core of social life. However, humans selectively choose their exchange partners and do not engage in all available opportunities for social encounters. In this review, we argue that attentional systems play an important role in guiding the selection of social interactions. Read More

    Evaluating predisposition and training in shaping the musician's brain: the need for a developmental perspective.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 May 24. Epub 2018 May 24.
    Developmental Medicine Center, Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.
    The study of music training as a model for structural plasticity has evolved significantly over the past 15 years. Neuroimaging studies have identified characteristic structural brain alterations in musicians compared to nonmusicians in school-age children and adults, using primarily cross-sectional designs. Despite this emerging evidence and advances in pediatric neuroimaging techniques, hardly any studies have examined brain development in early childhood (before age 8) in association with musical training, and longitudinal studies starting in infancy or preschool are particularly scarce. Read More

    Lymphocytic esophagitis: an update on histologic diagnosis, endoscopic findings, and natural history.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 May 24. Epub 2018 May 24.
    Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York.
    Lymphocytic esophagitis is a histologic pattern of injury characterized by increased intraepithelial lymphocytes (>20/high-power field) with rare, or absent granulocytes. Lymphocytes tend to be more numerous in the peripapillary epithelium, and are often associated with evidence of mucosal injury, edema, and scattered dyskeratotic cells. More than a decade following its original description, lymphocytic esophagitis remains an enigmatic entity with variable clinical presentations, associated disorders, etiologies, treatment, and natural history. Read More

    The effects of music-supported therapy on motor, cognitive, and psychosocial functions in chronic stroke.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 May 24. Epub 2018 May 24.
    Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
    Neuroplasticity accompanying learning is a key mediator of stroke rehabilitation. Training in playing music in healthy populations and patients with movement disorders requires resources within motor, sensory, cognitive, and affective systems, and coordination among these systems. We investigated effects of music-supported therapy (MST) in chronic stroke on motor, cognitive, and psychosocial functions compared to conventional physical training (GRASP). Read More

    The power of meaning: the quest for an existential roadmap.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 May 24. Epub 2018 May 24.
    University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
    Where can we turn to find the story of our lives-an existential roadmap that explains where we have come from, why we are here, and where we are headed? Must each of us discover meaning within the context of our individual lives, or are there universal sources of meaning that we can all access? Is there any relationship between living a meaningful life and the quality of our health and well-being? And how can we find meaning in the face of adversity and suffering? Neurologist Jay Lombard, philosophers Massimo Pigliucci and Michael Ruse, and author Emily Esfahani Smith shed light on these perennial questions in conversation with Steve Paulson, executive producer and host of To the Best of Our Knowledge. Read More

    A network for early childhood development.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 May;1419(1):20-22
    Early Childhood Development Action Network (ECDAN), New York, New York.
    Political action and investment are critical to meet the development needs of vulnerable young children today. Early childhood development (ECD) has become a global priority: an ECD target and other ECD-related targets are included in the sustainable development goals, over 75 countries have officially adopted multisectoral ECD policy instruments, and ECD is a programmatic focus in major global institutions (including UNICEF, UNESCO, the WHO, and the World Bank). However, lack of clear and strong ownership of and champions for ECD, operational and communication siloes of constituent sectors that constitute ECD, political pressures for investment in other arenas, and low international investment in ECD inhibit making a compelling and cohesive investment case for ECD. Read More

    What policymakers need from implementation evaluations of early childhood development programs.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 May;1419(1):17-19
    Bernard van Leer Foundation, Washington, DC.
    As early childhood interventions move from small- to large-scale programs, the partnerships among researchers, policymakers, communication experts, practitioners, and local communities become increasingly critical for successful implementation. The results from evaluations of programs need to guide policymakers so that they can make informed administrative and fiscal decisions. This commentary makes five recommendations for researchers to consider when designing early childhood programs for scale. Read More

    Diffusing and scaling evidence-based interventions: eight lessons for early child development from the implementation of perinatal home visiting in South Africa.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 May;1419(1):218-229
    Semel Institute, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California.
    Most low- and middle-income countries lack resources with which to implement public health programs. As such, there is a necessity to facilitate programing that judiciously makes use of what resources there are. However, despite evidence for the efficacy of many interventions, translating these into real-world effectiveness, and then into scalability, is complex and has often been neglected. Read More

    The Irie Classroom Toolbox: developing a violence prevention, preschool teacher training program using evidence, theory, and practice.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 May;1419(1):179-200
    School of Psychology, Bangor University, Bangor, Gwynedd, UK.
    In this paper, I describe the development of the Irie Classroom Toolbox, a school-based violence prevention, teacher training program for use with children aged 3-6 years. In-depth interviews were conducted with Jamaican preschool teachers, who had participated in a trial of a classroom behavior management program, at posttest (n = 35) and 5 years later (n = 20). An on-going process evaluation was also conducted. Read More

    What implementation evidence matters: scaling-up nurturing interventions that promote early childhood development.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 May;1419(1):5-16
    Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts.
    Research in early childhood development (ECD) has established the need for scaling-up multisectoral interventions for nurturing care to promote ECD, for improved socioeconomic outcomes for sustainable societies. However, key elements and processes for implementation and scale-up of such interventions are not well understood. This special series on implementation research and practice for ECD brings together evidence to inform effectiveness, quality, and scale in nurturing care programs; identifies knowledge gaps; and proposes further directions for research and practice. Read More

    Designing, testing, and implementing a sustainable nurse home visiting program: right@home.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 May;1419(1):141-159
    Ingham Institute, Western Sydney University, Sydney, Victoria, Australia.
    Nurse home visiting (NHV) offers a potential platform to both address the factors that limit access to services for families experiencing adversity and provide effective interventions. Currently, the ability to examine program implementation is hampered by a lack of detailed description of actual, rather than expected, program development and delivery in published studies. Home visiting implementation remains a black box in relation to quality and sustainability. Read More

    Reporting guidelines for implementation research on nurturing care interventions designed to promote early childhood development.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 May;1419(1):26-37
    Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts.
    Meta-analyses of interventions such as parenting, stimulation, and early childhood education have reported consistent medium-to-high effect sizes on early childhood development (ECD) and early learning outcomes. However, few effective interventions promoting ECD have achieved scale. In order to increase the access to effective or high-quality services, greater focus on implementation research of interventions promoting ECD is necessary. Read More

    Program to Improve Private Early Education (PIPE): a case study of a systems approach for scaling quality early education solutions.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 May;1419(1):38-56
    FSG Advisory Services, Inclusive Markets, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.
    FSG is a mission-driven nonprofit organization supporting leaders in creating large-scale, lasting social change. A survey conducted by FSG in 2015 across 4407 low-income families in urban India showed that 95% of them send their children to preschools, a majority of choosing affordable private preschools (APSs), as parents perceive the quality of government schools to be poor. Parents use and value rote-based methods (e. Read More

    Practical considerations for transitioning early childhood interventions to scale: lessons from the Saving Brains portfolio.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 May;1419(1):230-248
    Grand Challenges Canada, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
    Small pilot studies of young children have frequently shown promise, but very few have been successfully scaled to the regional or national levels. How can we ensure that these promising approaches move from a suite of pilots to full-scale implementation that can deliver sustainable impact for hundreds of millions of children? To elucidate concrete lessons learned and suggestions on accelerating the transition to impact at scale, we reviewed the Saving Brains portfolio to better understand three points: (1) the extent to which useful signals of impact could be extracted from data at the seed phase, (2) the ways in which innovators (project leaders) were approaching human resource challenges critical for scaling, and (3) the multisector diversity of the portfolio and the way innovators entered partnerships. The findings suggest key considerations for transitioning early childhood development interventions to scale and sustainability: strong entrepreneurial leadership, rigorous measurement and active use of data in support of adaptive learning, and champions acting at subnational levels. Read More

    Implementing aeioTU: quality improvement alongside an efficacy study-learning while growing.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 May;1419(1):201-217
    Facultad de Economía, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia.
    Effectiveness trials of increasing childhood development interventions across low- and middle-income countries have shown significant variability. The strength and consistency of benefits for children are dependent on program quality, and this requires paying attention to program implementation. In this paper, we summarize findings on program quality and teacher practices and perceptions for the aeioTU program, a center-based Reggio-inspired program in Colombia, now serving more than 13,000 children. Read More

    Implementation research for early childhood development programming in humanitarian contexts.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 May;1419(1):90-101
    New York University, Global TIES for Children, New York, New York.
    Young children living in conditions of war, disaster, and displacement are at high risk for developmental difficulties that can follow them throughout their lives. While there is robust evidence supporting the need for early childhood development (ECD) in humanitarian settings, implementation of ECD programming remains sparse, largely due to the lack of evidence of how and why these programs can improve outcomes in humanitarian settings. In order to build the evidence base for ECD in humanitarian settings, we review the current state of implementation research for ECD programming (targeting children 0-8) in humanitarian settings, through a literature review and a series of key informant interviews. Read More

    Care for Child Development in rural Malawi: a model feasibility and pilot study.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 May;1419(1):102-119
    Department of Public Health, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Malawi, Blantyre, Malawi.
    Evidence demonstrates that encouraging stimulation, early communication, and nutrition improves child development. Detailed feasibility studies in real-world situations in Africa are limited. We piloted Care for Child Development through six health surveillance assistants (HSAs) in group and individual sessions with 60 caregivers and children <2 years and assessed recruitment, frequency, timings, and quality of intervention. Read More

    Translation of evidence to practice to promote early childhood development programs.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 May;1419(1):23-25
    Early Childhood Development (ECD), UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office (EAPRO), Bangkok, Thailand.
    The 2018 special issue of Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences on implementation research and practice for early childhood development brings together emerging evidence on implementing effective nurturing care programs, addressing issues of quality and scale. Translating evidence to practice requires addressing the barriers perceived by policy makers, which have been highlighted in the published literature. Here, I describe how UNICEF and other global partners are addressing these barriers. Read More

    Integration of parenting and nutrition interventions in a community health program in Pakistan: an implementation evaluation.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 May;1419(1):160-178
    Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.
    Policy and program implementers require evidence on whether integrated psychosocial stimulation and nutrition interventions can be effectively delivered at-scale, how, and at what cost? To address some of these issues, a comprehensive evaluation of implementation was designed for a trial in Pakistan that integrated psychosocial stimulation and nutrition interventions in a community health service. The first objective was to describe, analyze, and assess the quality and accuracy of the implementation of the interventions. The second objective was to identify barriers and facilitators for uptake of interventions. Read More

    Implementation of Reach Up early childhood parenting program: acceptability, appropriateness, and feasibility in Brazil and Zimbabwe.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 May;1419(1):120-140
    Epidemiology Research Unit, Caribbean Institute for Health Research, The University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica.
    Young children need nurturing care, which includes responsive caregiver-child interactions and opportunities to learn. However, there are few extant large-scale programs that build parents' abilities to provide this. We have developed an early childhood parenting training package, called Reach Up, with the aim of providing an evidence-based, adaptable program that is feasible for low-resource settings. Read More

    State of the science on implementation research in early child development and future directions.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 May;1419(1):264-271
    National Institute for Early Education Research, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey.
    We summarize the state of the field of implementation research and practice for early child development and propose recommendations. First, conclusions are drawn regarding what is generally known about the implementation of early childhood development programs, based on papers and discussions leading to a published series on the topic. Second, recommendations for short-term activities emphasize the use of newly published guidelines for reporting data collection methods and results for implementation processes; knowledge of the guidelines and a menu of measures allows for planning ahead. Read More

    Measuring the cost of investing in early childhood interventions and applications of a standardized costing tool.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 May;1419(1):74-89
    The Brookings Institution - Center for Universal Education, Washington, DC.
    In this paper we analyze the need for consistent and accurate cost data on early childhood development (ECD) interventions as a basis for increasing and improving the effectiveness of current spending on ECD. We establish the key components necessary in a costing model and present a new standardized costing tool intended for use across a broad range of stakeholders and contexts. Learnings from piloting the tool in Bangladesh, Malawi, Mali, Mexico, and Mozambique are shared. Read More

    Building capacity in health and education systems to deliver interventions that strengthen early child development.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 May;1419(1):57-73
    Mathematica Policy Research, Princeton, New Jersey.
    Building capacity within health and education systems of low- and middle-income countries in order to deliver high-quality early childhood services requires coordinated efforts across sectors, effective governance, sufficient funding, an adequate workforce, reliable data systems, and continuous monitoring, evaluation, and improvement cycles; it also requires partnerships with the private sector, communities, and parents. In addition, building capacity requires leadership, innovation of strategies to fit into existing structures, evidence-based intervention models, and effective partnerships that help make interventions more culturally relevant, help finance them, and help create institutional long-term support and sustainability for them. In this article, we focus on identifying eight critical aspects of enabling systemic support for early childhood services. Read More

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