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Individual differences in cognitive responses to trauma may represent modifiable risk factors that could allow early identification, targeted early treatment and possibly prevention of chronic posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Ehlers and Clark's cognitive model of PTSD suggests that negative appraisals, disjointed trauma memories, and unhelpful coping strategies maintain PTSD. These are thought to be influenced by cognitive processing during trauma. The aim of this study was to test this model prospectively with path analyses.
Participants (N = 828) were recruited from an emergency department following injury in a violent assault or road traffic collision and 700 participated in the 6-month assessments. Cognitive processing was assessed shortly after the event, negative appraisals, disjointed memories, and unhelpful coping strategies at 1 month, persistent PTSD symptom severity at 6 months, and early PTSD symptom severity at 2 weeks.
Cognitive variables, with trauma type and gender, explained 52% of the variance in PTSD symptom severity at 6 months. Including early symptom severity in the model did not explain more variance (53%). Early PTSD symptom severity, with trauma type and gender, only predicted 40%. Negative appraisals and disjointed memories predicted persistent symptom severity both directly and indirectly via unhelpful strategies. Peritraumatic processing predicted persistent symptom severity mainly indirectly. The effects of trauma type and gender were fully mediated by the cognitive factors.
The results are consistent with theoretically derived predictions and support cognitive factors as indicators of risk for chronic PTSD and as a target for the treatment and prevention of PTSD.
The cognitive process of worry, which keeps negative thoughts in mind and elaborates the content, contributes to the occurrence of many mental health disorders. Our principal aim was to develop a straightforward measure of general problematic worry suitable for research and clinical treatment. Our secondary aim was to develop a measure of problematic worry specifically concerning paranoid fears.
An item pool concerning worry in the past month was evaluated in 250 non-clinical individuals and 50 patients with psychosis in a worry treatment trial. Exploratory factor analysis and item response theory (IRT) informed the selection of scale items. IRT analyses were repeated with the scales administered to 273 non-clinical individuals, 79 patients with psychosis and 93 patients with social anxiety disorder. Other clinical measures were administered to assess concurrent validity. Test-retest reliability was assessed with 75 participants. Sensitivity to change was assessed with 43 patients with psychosis.
A 10-item general worry scale (Dunn Worry Questionnaire; DWQ) and a five-item paranoia worry scale (Paranoia Worries Questionnaire; PWQ) were developed. All items were highly discriminative (DWQ a = 1.98–5.03; PWQ a = 4.10–10.7), indicating small increases in latent worry lead to a high probability of item endorsement. The DWQ was highly informative across a wide range of the worry distribution, whilst the PWQ had greatest precision at clinical levels of paranoia worry. The scales demonstrated excellent internal reliability, test-retest reliability, concurrent validity and sensitivity to change.
The new measures of general problematic worry and worry about paranoid fears have excellent psychometric properties.
Background: Intensive care unit-acquired weakness (ICU-AW) is associated with poorer outcome of critically ill patients. Microcirculatory changes and altered vascular permeability of skeletal muscles might contribute to the pathogenesis of ICU-AW. Muscular ultrasound (MUS) displays increased muscle echogenicity, although its pathogenesis is uncertain. Objective: We investigated the combined measurement of serum and ultrasound markers to assess ICU-AW and clinical patient outcome. Methods: Fifteen patients and five healthy controls were longitudinally assessed for signs of ICU-AW at study days 3 and 10 using a muscle strength sum score. The definition of ICU-AW was based on decreased muscle strength assessed by the muscular research council-sum score. Ultrasound echogenicity of extremity muscles was assessed using a standardized protocol. Serum markers of inflammation and endothelial damage were measured. The 3-month outcome was assessed on the modified Rankin scale. Results: ICU-AW was present in eight patients, and seven patients and the control subjects did not develop ICU-AW. The global muscle echogenicity score (GME) differed significantly between controls and patients (mean GME, 1.1 ± 0.06 vs. 2.3 ± 0.41; p = 0.001). Mean GME values significantly decreased in patients without ICU-AW from assessment 1 (2.30 ± 0.48) to assessment 2 (2.06 ± 0.45; p = 0.027), which was not observed in patients with ICU-AW. Serum levels of syndecan-1 at day 3 significantly correlated with higher GME values at day 10 (r = 0.63, p = 0.012). Furthermore, the patients’ GME significantly correlated with mRS at day 100 (r = 0.67, p = 0.013). Conclusion: The combined use of muscular ultrasound and inflammatory biomarkers might be helpful to diagnose ICU-AW and to predict long-term outcome in critical illness.
The objective of this study was to identify species of Angiostrongylus spp. infecting wild carnivores in Southern Brazil, as well as to describe gross and histopathological findings associated with the infection. Necropsy was conducted in 16 wild carnivores parasitized by Angiostrongylus spp. Analysed lungs revealed multifocal dark-red areas of consolidation; in one case, multifocal firm white nodules spread in all pulmonary lobes were observed. In one animal, a focally extensive area of malacia associated with haemorrhage was noted in the encephalon. Histologically, multifocal granulomatous pneumonia or bronchopneumonia, associated with eggs and larvae in blood vessels, lung interstitium, alveoli, and sometimes in bronchi and bronchioles was observed. Adult nematodes were seen within blood vessels. The lesion observed in the brain was characterized as a focally extensive area of malacia associated with gitter cells, haemorrhage, thrombosis and a free intralesional larva. Through molecular techniques, seven positive samples of Angiostrongylus cantonensis were obtained, including the brain sample, and a positive sample of Angiostrongylus vasorum-like, all in Cerdocyon thous. The positive sample for A. vasorum showed 97% similarity with sequences deposited in GenBank, suggesting a new species or subspecies of Angiostrongylus sp. Infection of Lycalopex gymnocercus by Angiostrongylus spp. was confirmed by histological evaluation.
This study examined the effectiveness of a formal postdoctoral education program designed to teach skills in clinical and translational science, using scholar publication rates as a measure of research productivity.
Participants included 70 clinical fellows who were admitted to a master’s or certificate training program in clinical and translational science from 1999 to 2015 and 70 matched control peers. The primary outcomes were the number of publications 5 years post-fellowship matriculation and time to publishing 15 peer-reviewed manuscripts post-matriculation.
Clinical and translational science program graduates published significantly more peer-reviewed manuscripts at 5 years post-matriculation (median 8 vs 5, p=0.041) and had a faster time to publication of 15 peer-reviewed manuscripts (matched hazard ratio = 2.91, p=0.002). Additionally, program graduates’ publications yielded a significantly higher average H-index (11 vs. 7, p=0.013).
These findings support the effectiveness of formal training programs in clinical and translational science by increasing academic productivity.
Diurnal preference (e.g., being an owl or lark) has been associated with several psychiatric disorders including bipolar disorder (BP), major depressive disorder, and substance use disorders. Previous large-scale genome-wide association studies (GWAS) aimed at identifying genetic influences on diurnal preference have exclusively included subjects of European ancestry. This study examined the genetic architecture of diurnal preference in two minority samples: a young adult sample of Mexican Americans (MAs), and a family-based sample of American Indians (AIs). Typed or imputed variants from exome chip data from the MA sample and low pass whole-genome sequencing from the AI cohort were analyzed using a mixed linear model approach for association with being an owl, as defined by a usual bedtime after 23:00 hrs. Genetic risk score (GRS) profiling detected shared genetic risk between evening preference and related disorders. Four variants in KIAA1549 like (KIAA1549L), a gene previously associated with attempted suicide in bipolar patients, were suggestively associated with being an owl at p < 1.82E-05; post hoc analyses showed the top variant trending in both the MA and AI cohorts at p = 2.50E-05 and p = .030, respectively. Variants associated with BP at p < .03 from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium nominally predicted being an owl in the MA/AI cohort at p = .012. This study provides some additional evidence that genetic risk factors for BP also confer risk for being an owl in MAs/AIs and that evening preference may be a useful endophenotype for future studies of BP.
Mental health problems are inseparable from the environment. With virtual reality (VR), computer-generated interactive environments, individuals can repeatedly experience their problematic situations and be taught, via evidence-based psychological treatments, how to overcome difficulties. VR is moving out of specialist laboratories. Our central aim was to describe the potential of VR in mental health, including a consideration of the first 20 years of applications. A systematic review of empirical studies was conducted. In all, 285 studies were identified, with 86 concerning assessment, 45 theory development, and 154 treatment. The main disorders researched were anxiety (n = 192), schizophrenia (n = 44), substance-related disorders (n = 22) and eating disorders (n = 18). There are pioneering early studies, but the methodological quality of studies was generally low. The gaps in meaningful applications to mental health are extensive. The most established finding is that VR exposure-based treatments can reduce anxiety disorders, but there are numerous research and treatment avenues of promise. VR was found to be a much-misused term, often applied to non-interactive and non-immersive technologies. We conclude that VR has the potential to transform the assessment, understanding and treatment of mental health problems. The treatment possibilities will only be realized if – with the user experience at the heart of design – the best immersive VR technology is combined with targeted translational interventions. The capability of VR to simulate reality could greatly increase access to psychological therapies, while treatment outcomes could be enhanced by the technology's ability to create new realities. VR may merit the level of attention given to neuroimaging.
Mexican Americans (MAs) and American Indians (AIs) constitute conspicuously understudied groups with respect to risk for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), especially in light of findings showing racial/ethnic differences in trauma exposure and risk for PTSD. The purpose of this study was to examine genetic influences on PTSD in two minority cohorts. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) with sum PTSD symptoms for trauma-exposed subjects was run in each cohort. Six highly correlated variants in olfactory receptor family 11 subfamily L member 1 (OR11L1) were suggestively associated with PTSD in the MA cohort. These associations remained suggestively significant after permutation testing. A signal in a nearby olfactory receptor on chromosome 1, olfactory receptor family 2 subfamily L member 13 (OR2L13), tagged by rs151319968, was nominally associated with PTSD in the AI sample. Although no variants were significantly associated after correction for multiple testing in a meta-analysis of the two cohorts, pathway analysis of the top hits showed an enrichment cluster of terms related to sensory transduction, olfactory receptor activity, G-protein coupled receptors, and membrane. As previous studies have proposed a role for olfaction in PTSD, our results indicate this influence may be partially driven by genetic variation in the olfactory system.
This paper investigates the state of pork supply as to its neglect of developing innovations and mechanisms for delivering superior eating quality to consumers. We explore reasons behind pork supply chains’ predominant focus on mass production combined with traceability and food safety, while only little attention has been given to potentially lucrative niche markets focused on intrinsic quality cues. Using established analytical frameworks of hedonic pricing and transactions costs economics we discuss alternative strategies for the segregation and promotion of intrinsic sensory differentiated pork. Growing empirical evidence in the literature underpins the importance of eating experience in delivering utility to consumers and in stabilizing declining demand trends in major markets. Building on current consumer behavioral literature and organizational developments in meat supply chains in Europe and Australia, we critically discuss opportunities to overcome this supposedly suboptimal situation.
The direction of inland ice movement can, in some cases, be reconstructed by a study of the forms at the base of till strata. These forms are “ribs”, which are formed either as slickensides or as a type of negative “flute”; “edges” and “wedges”, which are caused by shearing movements at the base of the ice; or “undulations”, probably created by restricting movements at the base of the ice. These forms appear to be elongated in the direction of ice movement. As these features can easily be measured, they can be used to check, supplement, or replace the results of till-fabric measurements.
In the marginal areas of the Pleistocene Scandinavian ice sheet in north Germany there are few signs of direct glacial erosion. Fine gravel analyses show that glacial reworking was not very important. This may be partly due to the fact that at least in the late phases of the glaciation the active parts of the ice sheet moved over dead ice and were not in direct contact with the underlying substratum. Buried tunnel valleys with a depth of more than 400m show that considerable erosion by sub glacial melt-water streams took place, at least during the Elsterian glaciation.
In this commentary we focus on individual differences in proposed mechanisms underlying arousal-based enhancement of prioritized stimuli. We discuss the potential of genotyping studies for examining effects of noradrenergic processes on stimulus prioritization in humans and stress the importance of potential individual differences in the activity of specific receptor subtypes in hotspot processes proposed by the GANE model.
Antiretroviral therapy (ART) affords longevity to patients infected with the human immune deficiency virus (HIV). Since little is known about the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of persons who have been on ART for at least five years, the present study investigated the HRQoL of these patients in Botswana.
Medical records, structured interviews, and the World Health Organization Quality of Life–BREF (WHOQoL–HIV–BREF) instrument were employed to obtain information from 456 respondents.
Univariate and multivariate regression analyses showed that respondents' highest scores were in the “physical” domain (mean = 15.8, SD = 3.5), while the lowest scores were in the “environment” domain (mean = 12.9, SD = 2.5). Thus, the physical domain had the greatest impact on patients' overall HRQoL. Self-education about HIV-related issues was significantly correlated with all domains of HRQoL scores: physical (ρ = –2.32, CI95% = –3.02, –1.61); psychological (ρ = –2.26, CI95% = –2.87, –1.65); independence (ρ = –1.81, CI95% = –2.54, –1.06); social relationships (ρ = –1.40, CI95% = –2.13, –0.67); environment (ρ = –1.58, CI95% = –2.13, –1.04); and spirituality (ρ = –1.70, CI95% = –82.27, –1.13).
Significance of results:
HRQoL assessments can identify and address patients' needs, and it is important that guidelines be developed that will yield improved care to ART patients in Botswana.
It is unclear which potentially modifiable risk factors best predict post-trauma psychiatric disorders. We aimed to identify pre-trauma risk factors for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or major depression (MD) that could be targeted with resilience interventions.
Newly recruited paramedics (n = 453) were assessed for history of mental disorders with structured clinical interviews within the first week of their paramedic training and completed self-report measures to assess hypothesized predictors. Participants were assessed every 4 months for 2 years to identify any episodes of PTSD and MD; 386 paramedics (85.2%) participated in the follow-up interviews.
In all, 32 participants (8.3%) developed an episode of PTSD and 41 (10.6%) an episode of MD during follow-up. In all but nine cases (2.3%), episodes had remitted by the next assessment 4 months later. At 2 years, those with episodes of PTSD or MD during follow-up reported more days off work, poorer sleep, poorer quality of life, greater burn-out; and greater weight-gain for those with PTSD. In line with theories of PTSD and depression, analyses controlling for psychiatric and trauma history identified several pre-trauma predictors (cognitive styles, coping styles and psychological traits). Logistic regressions showed that rumination about memories of stressful events at the start of training uniquely predicted an episode of PTSD. Perceived resilience uniquely predicted an episode of MD.
Participants at risk of developing episodes of PTSD or depression could be identified within the first week of paramedic training. Cognitive predictors of episodes of PTSD and MD are promising targets for resilience interventions.
A balanced cross-section spanning the Eastern Cordillera and Subandean Zone of southern Peru (13–15°S) constrains ~130 km (38%) of Cenozoic orogen-normal SW–NE Andean deformation accommodated by thick- and thin-skinned retro–arc fold–thrust belt shortening that overprinted pre-Andean Triassic normal faults. Zircon and apatite (U–Th)/He ages demonstrate continuous Oligocene to Miocene cooling of the Permo-Triassic Coasa pluton in the Eastern Cordillera. Zircon (U–Th)/He ages (~34–18 Ma) are reset and define a steep age versus elevation relationship. Apatite (U–Th)/He results reveal reset ages that define two spatially separated groups with ages of ~30–26 Ma and ~17–11 Ma. Detrital zircon U–Pb geochronologic results from Cretaceous–Cenozoic siliciclastic rocks from the Altiplano/Eastern Cordillera record Andean fold–thrust belt and magmatic-arc sediment sources. Correlative Subandean Zone rocks preserve a cratonic sediment contribution, with minor Andean sediment appearing in some Cenozoic rocks. We propose that earliest Andean deformation and structural compartmentalization of the Eastern Cordillera was linked to selective inversion of inherited Permo-Triassic basement-involved normal faults that guided subsequent thick- and thin-skinned deformation. Provenance variations between the hinterland and foreland depocentres reveal competing eastern and western sediment sources, reflecting an axial zone in the Eastern Cordillera that coincided with the inherited Triassic graben and impeded sediment source mixing. Our zircon and apatite (U–Th)/He ages are consistent with published constraints along strike and support pulses of Eocene to late Miocene exhumation that were likely driven by normal fault reactivation and protracted Eastern Cordillera deformation.
Neurophysiological measurements of the response to pre-pulse and startle stimuli have been suggested to represent an important endophenotype for both substance dependence and other select psychiatric disorders. We have previously shown, in young adult Mexican Americans (MA), that presentation of a short delay acoustic pre-pulse, prior to the startle stimuli can elicit a late negative component at about 400 msec (N4S), in the event-related potential (ERP), recorded from frontal cortical areas. In the present study, we investigated whether genetic factors associated with this endophenotype could be identified. The study included 420 (age 18–30 years) MA men (n = 170), and women (n = 250). DNA was genotyped using an Affymetrix Axiom Exome1A chip. An association analysis revealed that the CCKAR and CCKBR (cholecystokinin A and B receptor) genes each had a nearby variant that showed suggestive significance with the amplitude of the N4S component to pre-pulse stimuli. The neurotransmitter cholecystokinin (CCK), along with its receptors, CCKAR and CCKBR, have been previously associated with psychiatric disorders, suggesting that variants near these genes may play a role in the pre-pulse/startle response in this cohort.