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We conducted active surveillance of acute respiratory viral infections (ARIs) among residents and healthcare personnel (HCP) at a long-term care facility during the 2015–2016 respiratory illness season. ARIs were observed among both HCP and patients, highlighting the importance of including HCP in surveillance programs.
Social cognitive deficits are an important consequence of multiple sclerosis (MS), yet our understanding of how these deficits manifest in progressive MS is currently limited. To this end, we examined theory of mind (ToM) ability in a sample of individuals with progressive MS using an ecologically valid virtual assessment tool that allows for delineation of cognitive ToM (inferring thoughts and intentions of others) from affective ToM (inferring emotions of others).
Methods & Results:
We compared 15 individuals with progressive MS and 15 healthy controls on their ToM ability using the Virtual Assessment of Mentalising Ability. We found that, relative to healthy controls, participants with progressive MS were impaired in cognitive ToM, but not in affective ToM. Furthermore, we found that the MS participants’ deficits in cognitive ToM were mediated by their general cognitive ability such that poor cognitive ToM ability in MS was explained by poor performance on tests of memory and processing speed.
Our findings demonstrate that ToM deficits in progressive MS may be limited to cognitive ToM, while affective ToM is conserved. This could be attributable to the MS-related deficits in general cognitive ability, which appear to negatively affect only the cognitive component of ToM.
Neuropsychological dysfunction is a well-established finding in individuals with bipolar disorder type I (BP-I), even during euthymic periods; however, it is less clear whether this also pertains to bipolar disorder type II (BP-II) or those with subthreshold states (SBP; subthreshold bipolar disorder), such as bipolar not otherwise specified (BP-NOS). Herein, we compare the literature regarding neuropsychological performance in BP-II vs BP-I to determine the extent of relative impairment, and we present and review all related studies on cognition in SBP. After systematically searching PubMed, Medline, PsycINFO, and The Cochrane Library, we found 17 papers that comprise all the published studies relevant for this review. The areas that are consistently found to be impaired in BP are executive function, verbal memory, visual spatial working memory, and attention. More studies than not show no significant difference between BP-I and BP-II, particularly in euthymic samples. Preliminary evidence suggests that patients experiencing major depressive episodes who also meet criteria for SBP show similar profiles to BP-II; however, these results pertain only to a depressed sample. SBP were found to perform significantly better than both MDD and healthy controls in a euthymic sample. A consensus on mood state, patient selection, and neuropsychological testing needs to be agreed on for future research. Furthermore, no studies have used the most recent DSM-5 criteria for SBP; future studies should address this. Finally, the underlying bases of cognitive dysfunction in these diagnostic groups need to be further investigated. We suggest recommendations on all of the above current research challenges.
Externalizing disorders are known to be partly heritable, but the biological pathways linking genetic risk to the manifestation of these costly behaviors remain under investigation. This study sought to identify neural phenotypes associated with genomic vulnerability for externalizing disorders.
One-hundred fifty-five White, non-Hispanic veterans were genotyped using a genome-wide array and underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. Genetic susceptibility was assessed using an independently developed polygenic score (PS) for externalizing, and functional neural networks were identified using graph theory based network analysis. Tasks of inhibitory control and psychiatric diagnosis (alcohol/substance use disorders) were used to measure externalizing phenotypes.
A polygenic externalizing disorder score (PS) predicted connectivity in a brain circuit (10 nodes, nine links) centered on left amygdala that included several cortical [bilateral inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) pars triangularis, left rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC)] and subcortical (bilateral amygdala, hippocampus, and striatum) regions. Directional analyses revealed that bilateral amygdala influenced left prefrontal cortex (IFG) in participants scoring higher on the externalizing PS, whereas the opposite direction of influence was observed for those scoring lower on the PS. Polygenic variation was also associated with higher Participation Coefficient for bilateral amygdala and left rACC, suggesting that genes related to externalizing modulated the extent to which these nodes functioned as communication hubs.
Findings suggest that externalizing polygenic risk is associated with disrupted connectivity in a neural network implicated in emotion regulation, impulse control, and reinforcement learning. Results provide evidence that this network represents a genetically associated neurobiological vulnerability for externalizing disorders.
To test the hypothesis that long-term care facility (LTCF) residents with Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) or asymptomatic carriage of toxigenic strains are an important source of transmission in the LTCF and in the hospital during acute-care admissions.
A 6-month cohort study with identification of transmission events was conducted based on tracking of patient movement combined with restriction endonuclease analysis (REA) and whole-genome sequencing (WGS).
Veterans Affairs hospital and affiliated LTCF.
The study included 29 LTCF residents identified as asymptomatic carriers of toxigenic C. difficile based on every other week perirectal screening and 37 healthcare facility-associated CDI cases (ie, diagnosis >3 days after admission or within 4 weeks of discharge to the community), including 26 hospital-associated and 11 LTCF-associated cases.
Of the 37 CDI cases, 7 (18·9%) were linked to LTCF residents with LTCF-associated CDI or asymptomatic carriage, including 3 of 26 hospital-associated CDI cases (11·5%) and 4 of 11 LTCF-associated cases (36·4%). Of the 7 transmissions linked to LTCF residents, 5 (71·4%) were linked to asymptomatic carriers versus 2 (28·6%) to CDI cases, and all involved transmission of epidemic BI/NAP1/027 strains. No incident hospital-associated CDI cases were linked to other hospital-associated CDI cases.
Our findings suggest that LTCF residents with asymptomatic carriage of C. difficile or CDI contribute to transmission both in the LTCF and in the affiliated hospital during acute-care admissions. Greater emphasis on infection control measures and antimicrobial stewardship in LTCFs is needed, and these efforts should focus on LTCF residents during hospital admissions.