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The National Neuropsychology Network (NNN) is a multicenter clinical research initiative funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH; R01 MH118514) to facilitate neuropsychology’s transition to contemporary psychometric assessment methods with resultant improvement in test validation and assessment efficiency.
The NNN includes four clinical research sites (Emory University; Medical College of Wisconsin; University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); University of Florida) and Pearson Clinical Assessment. Pearson Q-interactive (Q-i) is used for data capture for Pearson published tests; web-based data capture tools programmed by UCLA, which serves as the Coordinating Center, are employed for remaining measures.
NNN is acquiring item-level data from 500–10,000 patients across 47 widely used Neuropsychology (NP) tests and sharing these data via the NIMH Data Archive. Modern psychometric methods (e.g., item response theory) will specify the constructs measured by different tests and determine their positive/negative predictive power regarding diagnostic outcomes and relationships to other clinical, historical, and demographic factors. The Structured History Protocol for NP (SHiP-NP) helps standardize acquisition of relevant history and self-report data.
NNN is a proof-of-principle collaboration: by addressing logistical challenges, NNN aims to engage other clinics to create a national and ultimately an international network. The mature NNN will provide mechanisms for data aggregation enabling shared analysis and collaborative research. NNN promises ultimately to enable robust diagnostic inferences about neuropsychological test patterns and to promote the validation of novel adaptive assessment strategies that will be more efficient, more precise, and more sensitive to clinical contexts and individual/cultural differences.
A recent genome-wide association study (GWAS) identified 12 independent loci significantly associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Polygenic risk scores (PRS), derived from the GWAS, can be used to assess genetic overlap between ADHD and other traits. Using ADHD samples from several international sites, we derived PRS for ADHD from the recent GWAS to test whether genetic variants that contribute to ADHD also influence two cognitive functions that show strong association with ADHD: attention regulation and response inhibition, captured by reaction time variability (RTV) and commission errors (CE).
The discovery GWAS included 19 099 ADHD cases and 34 194 control participants. The combined target sample included 845 people with ADHD (age: 8–40 years). RTV and CE were available from reaction time and response inhibition tasks. ADHD PRS were calculated from the GWAS using a leave-one-study-out approach. Regression analyses were run to investigate whether ADHD PRS were associated with CE and RTV. Results across sites were combined via random effect meta-analyses.
When combining the studies in meta-analyses, results were significant for RTV (R2 = 0.011, β = 0.088, p = 0.02) but not for CE (R2 = 0.011, β = 0.013, p = 0.732). No significant association was found between ADHD PRS and RTV or CE in any sample individually (p > 0.10).
We detected a significant association between PRS for ADHD and RTV (but not CE) in individuals with ADHD, suggesting that common genetic risk variants for ADHD influence attention regulation.
Mass asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid amplified testing of healthcare personnel (HCP) was performed at a large tertiary health system. A low period-prevalence of positive HCP was observed. Of those who tested positive, half had mild symptoms in retrospect. HCP with even mild symptoms should be isolated and tested.
Previous research has shown that glufosinate and nicosulfuron at low rates can cause yield loss to grain sorghum. However, research has not been conducted to pinpoint the growth stage at which these herbicides are most injurious to grain sorghum. Therefore, field tests were conducted in 2016 and 2017 to determine the most sensitive growth stage for grain sorghum exposure to both glufosinate and nicosulfuron. Field test were designed with factor A being the herbicide applied (glufosinate or nicosulfuron). Factor B consisted of timing of herbicide application including V3, V8, flagleaf, heading, and soft dough stages. Factor C was glufosinate or nicosulfuron rate where a proportional rate of 656 g ai ha−1 of glufosinate and 35 g ai ha−1 of nicosulfuron was applied at 1/10×, 1/50×, and 1/250×. Visible injury, crop canopy heights (cm), and yield were reported as a percent of the nontreated. At the V3 growth stage visible injury of 32% from the 1/10× rate of glufosinate and 51% from the 1/10× rate of nicosulfuron was observed. This injury was reduced by 4 wk after application (WAA) and no yield loss occurred. Nicosulfuron was more injurious than glufosinate at a 1/10× and 1/50× rate when applied at the V8 and flagleaf growth stages resulting in death of the shoot, reduced heading, and yield. Yield losses from the 1/10× rate of nicosulfuron were observed from V8 through early heading and ranged from 41% to 96%. Yield losses from the 1/50× rate of nicosulfuron were 14% to 16% at the flagleaf and V8 growth stages respectively. The 1/10× rate of glufosinate caused 36% visible injury 2 WAA when applied at the flagleaf stage, which resulted in a 16% yield reduction. By 4 WAA visible injury from either herbicide at less than the 1/10× rate was not greater than 4%. Results indicate that injury can occur, but yield losses are more probable from low rates of nicosulfuron at V8 and flagleaf growth stages.
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.
This is the first report on the association between trauma exposure and depression from the Advancing Understanding of RecOvery afteR traumA(AURORA) multisite longitudinal study of adverse post-traumatic neuropsychiatric sequelae (APNS) among participants seeking emergency department (ED) treatment in the aftermath of a traumatic life experience.
We focus on participants presenting at EDs after a motor vehicle collision (MVC), which characterizes most AURORA participants, and examine associations of participant socio-demographics and MVC characteristics with 8-week depression as mediated through peritraumatic symptoms and 2-week depression.
Eight-week depression prevalence was relatively high (27.8%) and associated with several MVC characteristics (being passenger v. driver; injuries to other people). Peritraumatic distress was associated with 2-week but not 8-week depression. Most of these associations held when controlling for peritraumatic symptoms and, to a lesser degree, depressive symptoms at 2-weeks post-trauma.
These observations, coupled with substantial variation in the relative strength of the mediating pathways across predictors, raises the possibility of diverse and potentially complex underlying biological and psychological processes that remain to be elucidated in more in-depth analyses of the rich and evolving AURORA database to find new targets for intervention and new tools for risk-based stratification following trauma exposure.
This study describes a procedural blank assessment of the ultraviolet photochemical oxidation (UV oxidation) method that is used to measure carbon isotopes of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) at the National Ocean Sciences Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Facility (NOSAMS). A retrospective compilation of Fm and δ13C results for secondary standards (OX-II, glycine) between 2009 and 2018 indicated that a revised blank correction was required to bring results in line with accepted values. The application of a best-fit mass-balance correction yielded a procedural blank of 22.0 ± 6.0 µg C with Fm of 0.30 ± 0.20 and δ13C of –32.0 ± 3.0‰ for this period, which was notably higher and more variable than previously reported. Changes to the procedure, specifically elimination of higher organic carbon reagents and improved sample and reactor handling, reduced the blank to 11.0 ± 2.75 µg C, with Fm of 0.14 ± 0.10 and δ13C of –31.0 ± 5.5‰. A thorough determination of the entire sample processing blank is required to ensure accurate isotopic compositions of seawater DOC using the UV oxidation method. Additional efforts are needed to further reduce the procedural blank so that smaller DOC samples can be analyzed, and to increase sample throughput.
Air pollution is linked to mortality and morbidity. Since humans spend nearly all their time indoors, improving indoor air quality (IAQ) is a compelling approach to mitigate air pollutant exposure. To assess interventions, relying on clinical outcomes may require prolonged follow-up, which hinders feasibility. Thus, identifying biomarkers that respond to changes in IAQ may be useful to assess the effectiveness of interventions.
We conducted a narrative review by searching several databases to identify studies published over the last decade that measured the response of blood, urine, and/or salivary biomarkers to variations (natural and intervention-induced) of changes in indoor air pollutant exposure.
Numerous studies reported on associations between IAQ exposures and biomarkers with heterogeneity across study designs and methods. This review summarizes the responses of 113 biomarkers described in 30 articles. The biomarkers which most frequently responded to variations in indoor air pollutant exposures were high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), von Willebrand Factor (vWF), 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), and 1-hydroxypyrene (1-OHP).
This review will guide the selection of biomarkers for translational studies evaluating the impact of indoor air pollutants on human health.
The emphasis on team science in clinical and translational research increases the importance of collaborative biostatisticians (CBs) in healthcare. Adequate training and development of CBs ensure appropriate conduct of robust and meaningful research and, therefore, should be considered as a high-priority focus for biostatistics groups. Comprehensive training enhances clinical and translational research by facilitating more productive and efficient collaborations. While many graduate programs in Biostatistics and Epidemiology include training in research collaboration, it is often limited in scope and duration. Therefore, additional training is often required once a CB is hired into a full-time position. This article presents a comprehensive CB training strategy that can be adapted to any collaborative biostatistics group. This strategy follows a roadmap of the biostatistics collaboration process, which is also presented. A TIE approach (Teach the necessary skills, monitor the Implementation of these skills, and Evaluate the proficiency of these skills) was developed to support the adoption of key principles. The training strategy also incorporates a “train the trainer” approach to enable CBs who have successfully completed training to train new staff or faculty.
A non-GMO trait called Inzen™ was recently commercialized in grain sorghum to combat weedy grasses, allowing the use of nicosulfuron POST in the crop. Inzen™ grain sorghum carries a double mutation in the acetolactate synthase (ALS) gene Val560Ile and Trp574Leu, which potentially results in cross-resistance to a wide assortment of ALS-inhibiting herbicides. To evaluate the scope of cross-resistance to Weed Science Society of America Group 2 herbicides in addition to nicosulfuron, tests were conducted in 2016 and 2017 at the Lon Mann Cotton Research Station near Marianna, AR, the Arkansas Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Fayetteville, AR, and in 2016 at the Pine Tree Research Station near Colt, AR. The tests included ALS-inhibiting herbicides from all five families: sulfonylureas, imidazolinones, pyrimidinylthiobenzoics, triazolinones, and triazolopyrimidines. Treatments were made PRE or POST to grain sorghum at a 1× rate for crops in which each herbicide is labeled. Grain sorghum planted in the PRE trial were Inzen™ and a conventional cultivar. Visible estimates of injury and sorghum heights were recorded at 2 and 4 wk after herbicide application, and yield data were collected at crop maturity. In the PRE trial, no visible injury, sorghum height reduction, or yield loss were observed in plots containing the Inzen™ cultivar. Applications made POST to the Inzen™ grain sorghum caused visible injury, sorghum height reduction, and yield loss of 20%, 13%, and 35%, respectively, only in plots where bispyribac-Na was applied. There was no impact on the crop from other POST-applied ALS-inhibiting herbicides. These results demonstrate that the Inzen™ trait confers cross-resistance to most ALS-inhibiting herbicides and could offer promising new alternatives for weed control and protection from carryover of residual ALS-inhibiting herbicides in grain sorghum.
According to the stress inoculation hypothesis, successfully navigating life stressors may improve one's ability to cope with subsequent stressors, thereby increasing psychiatric resilience.
Among individuals with no baseline history of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or major depressive disorder (MDD), to determine whether a history of a stressful life event protected participants against the development of PTSD and/or MDD after a natural disaster.
Analyses utilised data from a multiwave, prospective cohort study of adult Chilean primary care attendees (years 2003–2011; n = 1160). At baseline, participants completed the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI), a comprehensive psychiatric diagnostic instrument, and the List of Threatening Experiences, a 12-item questionnaire that measures major stressful life events. During the study (2010), the sixth most powerful earthquake on record struck Chile. One year later (2011), the CIDI was re-administered to assess post-disaster PTSD and/or MDD.
Marginal structural logistic regressions indicated that for every one-unit increase in the number of pre-disaster stressors, the odds of developing post-disaster PTSD or MDD increased (OR = 1.21, 95% CI 1.08–1.37, and OR = 1.16, 95% CI 1.06–1.27 respectively). When categorising pre-disaster stressors, individuals with four or more stressors (compared with no stressors) had higher odds of developing post-disaster PTSD (OR = 2.77, 95% CI 1.52–5.04), and a dose–response relationship between pre-disaster stressors and post-disaster MDD was found.
In contrast to the stress inoculation hypothesis, results indicated that experiencing multiple stressors increased the vulnerability to developing PTSD and/or MDD after a natural disaster. Increased knowledge regarding the individual variations of these disorders is essential to inform targeted mental health interventions after a natural disaster, especially in under-studied populations.
Introduction: The Emergency Departments (ED) is a gateway to the health care system for many psychiatric patients. As a consequence of hospital administrative factors and overcrowding, admitted psychiatric patients are often boarded in the ED while waiting for an inpatient bed. There is currently a lack of evidence to quantify the effect that ED boarding has on psychiatric patients. The primary objective of this study is to determine whether a patient's length of stay is related to longer ED boarding time. Methods: This study is a retrospective cohort using data from an administrative source, which was obtained from patient records captured in the Sunrise Clinical Manager EMR used across Calgary, Alberta EDs from 2014-2018. A hierarchical Bayesian regression analysis was used to model the several patient-level and hospital-level factors. The mean and variance was defined by the exposure of interest, namely hours in the Emergency Department after admission to psychiatry unit expressed as a continuous variable. An interaction between this exposure and patient-level confounders was used to model the changing effect of a patient's severity in the ED on their boarding time. Results: The median boarding time for patients in our study was 6.6 hours (standard deviation 17.3), while the average was 13.6 hours. Patients who were boarded for greater than 6 hours more frequently required an antipsychotic (37% vs 11%; SMD 0.651), sedative (52% vs 29%; SMD 0.483) or restraints (18% vs. 14%; SMD 0.102). In crude analysis there was no difference in median length of stay for patients that were boarding more than 6 hours compared to those boarded for less than 6 hours (8 days vs 9 days; SMD 0.012).The rate ratio for length of stay is 1.05 with 95% posterior interval 1.04 - 1.06 for each 24 hour increase in boarding time. This means that for each 1 day worth of boarding time, the length of stay (in days) increases 1.05 times (or 0.05 days/day boarding time). Conclusion: Boarding time is associated with a small but absolute increase in length of stay for psychiatric patients. Decreasing boarding time could have ripple effects for ED efficiency and overall patient outcomes.
This is a secondary analysis of clinical trial data collected in 12 European countries. We examined changes in weight and weight-related quality of life among community patients with schizophrenia treated with aripiprazole (ARI) versus standard of care (SOC), consisting of other marketed atypical antipsychotics (olanzapine, quetiapine, and risperidone).
Five-hundred and fifty-five patients whose clinical symptoms were not optimally controlled and/or experienced tolerability problems with current medication were randomized to ARI (10–30 mg/day) or SOC. Weight and weight-related quality of life (using the IWQOL-Lite) were assessed at baseline, and weeks 8, 18 and 26. Random regression analysis across all time points using all available data was used to compare groups on changes in weight and IWQOL-Lite. Meaningful change from baseline was also assessed.
Participants were 59.7% male, with a mean age of 38.5 years (SD 10.9) and mean baseline body mass index of 27.2 (SD 5.1). ARI participants lost an average of 1.7% of baseline weight in comparison to a gain of 2.1% by SOC participants (p < 0.0001) at 26 weeks. ARI participants experienced significantly greater increases in physical function, self-esteem, sexual life, and IWQOL-Lite total score. At 26 weeks, 20.7% of ARI participants experienced meaningful improvements in IWQOL-Lite score, versus 13.5% of SOC participants. A clinically meaningful change in weight was also associated with a meaningful change in quality of life (p < 0.001). A potential limitation of this study was its funding by a pharmaceutical company.
Compared to standard of care, patients with schizophrenia treated with aripiprazole experienced decreased weight and improved weight-related quality of life over 26 weeks. These changes were both statistically and clinically significant.
Yukon Territory (YT) is a remote region in northern Canada with ongoing spread of tuberculosis (TB). To explore the utility of whole genome sequencing (WGS) for TB surveillance and monitoring in a setting with detailed contact tracing and interview data, we used a mixed-methods approach. Our analysis included all culture-confirmed cases in YT (2005–2014) and incorporated data from 24-locus Mycobacterial Interspersed Repetitive Units-Variable Number of Tandem Repeats (MIRU-VNTR) genotyping, WGS and contact tracing. We compared field-based (contact investigation (CI) data + MIRU-VNTR) and genomic-based (WGS + MIRU-VNTR + basic case data) investigations to identify the most likely source of each person's TB and assessed the knowledge, attitudes and practices of programme personnel around genotyping and genomics using online, multiple-choice surveys (n = 4) and an in-person group interview (n = 5). Field- and genomics-based approaches agreed for 26 of 32 (81%) cases on likely location of TB acquisition. There was less agreement in the identification of specific source cases (13/22 or 59% of cases). Single-locus MIRU-VNTR variants and limited genetic diversity complicated the analysis. Qualitative data indicated that participants viewed genomic epidemiology as a useful tool to streamline investigations, particularly in differentiating latent TB reactivation from the recent transmission. Based on this, genomic data could be used to enhance CIs, focus resources, target interventions and aid in TB programme evaluation.
Individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are at increased risk of various chronic diseases. One hypothesized pathway is via changes in diet quality. This study evaluated whether PTSD was associated with deterioration in diet quality over time.
Data were from 51 965 women in the Nurses' Health Study II PTSD sub-study followed over 20 years. Diet, assessed at 4-year intervals, was characterized via the Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010 (AHEI). Based on information from the Brief Trauma Questionnaire and Short Screening Scale for DSM-IV PTSD, trauma/PTSD status was classified as no trauma exposure, prevalent exposure (trauma/PTSD onset before study entry), or new-onset (trauma/PTSD onset during follow-up). We further categorized women with prevalent exposure as having trauma with no PTSD symptoms, trauma with low PTSD symptoms, and trauma with high PTSD symptoms, and created similar categories for women with new-onset exposure, resulting in seven comparison groups. Multivariable linear mixed-effects spline models tested differences in diet quality changes by trauma/PTSD status over follow-up.
Overall, diet quality improved over time regardless of PTSD status. In age-adjusted models, compared to those with no trauma, women with prevalent high PTSD and women with new-onset high PTSD symptoms had 3.3% and 3.6% lower improvement in diet quality, respectively, during follow-up. Associations remained consistent after adjusting for health conditions, sociodemographics, and behavioral characteristics.
PTSD is associated with less healthy changes in overall diet quality over time. Poor diet quality may be one pathway linking PTSD with a higher risk of chronic disease development.
Psychotherapies for depression are equally effective on average, but individual responses vary widely. Outcomes can be improved by optimizing treatment selection using multivariate prediction models. A promising approach is the Personalized Advantage Index (PAI) that predicts the optimal treatment for a given individual and the magnitude of the advantage. The current study aimed to extend the PAI to long-term depression outcomes after acute-phase psychotherapy.
Data come from a randomized trial comparing cognitive therapy (CT, n = 76) and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT, n = 75) for major depressive disorder (MDD). Primary outcome was depression severity, as assessed by the BDI-II, during 17-month follow-up. First, predictors and moderators were selected from 38 pre-treatment variables using a two-step machine learning approach. Second, predictors and moderators were combined into a final model, from which PAI predictions were computed with cross-validation. Long-term PAI predictions were then compared to actual follow-up outcomes and post-treatment PAI predictions.
One predictor (parental alcohol abuse) and two moderators (recent life events; childhood maltreatment) were identified. Individuals assigned to their PAI-indicated treatment had lower follow-up depression severity compared to those assigned to their PAI-non-indicated treatment. This difference was significant in two subsets of the overall sample: those whose PAI score was in the upper 60%, and those whose PAI indicated CT, irrespective of magnitude. Long-term predictions did not overlap substantially with predictions for acute benefit.
If replicated, long-term PAI predictions could enhance precision medicine by selecting the optimal treatment for a given depressed individual over the long term.
The sternocleidomastoid can be used as a pedicled flap in head and neck reconstruction. It has previously been associated with high complication rates, likely due in part to the variable nature of its blood supply.
To provide clinicians with an up-to-date review of clinical outcomes of sternocleidomastoid flap surgery in head and neck reconstruction, integrated with a review of vascular anatomical studies of the sternocleidomastoid.
A literature search of the Medline and Web of Science databases was conducted. Complications were analysed for each study. The trend in success rates was analysed by date of the study.
Reported complication rates have improved over time. The preservation of two vascular pedicles rather than one may have contributed to improved outcomes.
The sternocleidomastoid flap is a versatile option for patients where prolonged free flap surgery is inappropriate. Modern vascular imaging techniques could optimise pre-operative planning.
Apolipoprotein E (APOE) E4 is the main genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Due to the consistent association, there is interest as to whether E4 influences the risk of other neurodegenerative diseases. Further, there is a constant search for other genetic biomarkers contributing to these phenotypes, such as microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) haplotypes. Here, participants from the Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative were genotyped to investigate whether the APOE E4 allele or MAPT H1 haplotype are associated with five neurodegenerative diseases: (1) AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), (2) amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, (3) frontotemporal dementia (FTD), (4) Parkinson’s disease, and (5) vascular cognitive impairment.
Genotypes were defined for their respective APOE allele and MAPT haplotype calls for each participant, and logistic regression analyses were performed to identify the associations with the presentations of neurodegenerative diseases.
Our work confirmed the association of the E4 allele with a dose-dependent increased presentation of AD, and an association between the E4 allele alone and MCI; however, the other four diseases were not associated with E4. Further, the APOE E2 allele was associated with decreased presentation of both AD and MCI. No associations were identified between MAPT haplotype and the neurodegenerative disease cohorts; but following subtyping of the FTD cohort, the H1 haplotype was significantly associated with progressive supranuclear palsy.
This is the first study to concurrently analyze the association of APOE isoforms and MAPT haplotypes with five neurodegenerative diseases using consistent enrollment criteria and broad phenotypic analysis.
Replicate radiocarbon (14C) measurements of organic and inorganic control samples, with known Fraction Modern values in the range Fm = 0–1.5 and mass range 6 μg–2 mg carbon, are used to determine both the mass and radiocarbon content of the blank carbon introduced during sample processing and measurement in our laboratory. These data are used to model, separately for organic and inorganic samples, the blank contribution and subsequently “blank correct” measured unknowns in the mass range 25–100 μg. Data, formulas, and an assessment of the precision and accuracy of the blank correction are presented.