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Impairments of contextual processing and theory of mind (ToM) have both been offered as accounts of the deviant language characterising formal thought disorder (FTD) in schizophrenia. This study investigated these processes in patients' dialogue. We predicted that FTD patients would show a decrement in linguistic alignment, associated with impaired ToM in dialogue.
Speech samples were elicited via participation in an interactive computer-based task and a semi-structured interview to assess contextual processing abilities and ToM skills in dialogue, respectively, and from an interactive card-sorting task to measure syntactic alignment. Degree of alignment in dialogue and the syntactic task, and evidence of ToM in (i) dialogue and (ii) a traditional ToM task were compared across schizophrenia patients with FTD (n = 21), non-FTD patients (n = 22) and healthy controls (n = 21).
FTD patients showed less alignment than the other two groups in dialogue, and than healthy controls on the syntactic task. FTD patients showed poorer performance on the ToM task than the other two groups, but only compared to the healthy controls in dialogue. The FTD group's degree of alignment in dialogue was correlated with ToM performance in dialogue but not with the traditional ToM task or with syntactic alignment.
In dialogue, FTD patients demonstrate an impairment in employing available contextual information to facilitate their own subsequent production, which is associated with a ToM deficit. These findings indicate that a contextual processing deficit impacts on exploiting representations via the production system impoverishing the ability to make predictions about upcoming utterances in dialogue.
The first episode of psychosis is a critical period in the emergence of cardiometabolic risk.
We set out to explore the influence of individual and lifestyle factors on cardiometabolic outcomes in early psychosis.
This was a prospective cohort study of 293 UK adults presenting with first-episode psychosis investigating the influence of sociodemographics, lifestyle (physical activity, sedentary behaviour, nutrition, smoking, alcohol, substance use) and medication on cardiometabolic outcomes over the following 12 months.
Rates of obesity and glucose dysregulation rose from 17.8% and 12%, respectively, at baseline to 23.7% and 23.7% at 1 year. Little change was seen over time in the 76.8% tobacco smoking rate or the quarter who were sedentary for over 10 h daily. We found no association between lifestyle at baseline or type of antipsychotic medication prescribed with either baseline or 1-year cardiometabolic outcomes. Median haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) rose by 3.3 mmol/mol in participants from Black and minority ethnic (BME) groups, with little change observed in their White counterparts. At 12 months, one-third of those with BME heritage exceeded the threshold for prediabetes (HbA1c >39 mmol/mol).
Unhealthy lifestyle choices are prevalent in early psychosis and cardiometabolic risk worsens over the next year, creating an important window for prevention. We found no evidence, however, that preventative strategies should be preferentially directed based on lifestyle habits. Further work is needed to determine whether clinical strategies should allow for differential patterns of emergence of cardiometabolic risk in people of different ethnicities.
Declaration of interest
F.G. has received honoraria for advisory work and lectures or CME activity support from Roche, BMS, Lundbeck, Otsuka, Janssen and Sunovion, is a collaborator on an NHS Innovations project co-funded by Janssen and has a family member with professional links to Lilly and GSK, including shares. R.M.M. has received honoraria for lectures from Lundbeck, Otsuka, Janssen and Sunovian. M.D.F. has received honoraria for lectures from Janssen and Sunovian. Z.A. has received honoraria for advisory work and lectures from Roche, Sanofi, Lilly and Otsuka. O.H. has received investigator-initiated research funding from and/or participated in advisory/speaker meetings organised by Astra-Zeneca, Autifony, Biogen, BMS, Eli Lilly, Heptares, Jansenn, Lundbeck, Lyden-Delta, Otsuka, Servier, Sunovion, Rand and Roche. D.T. has received funding for lectures and research from Janssen, Otsuka, Servier, Lundbeck, Sunovion.
Most reports on the outcome of children who present with heart failure, due to heart muscle disease, are from an era when ventricular assist devices were not available. This study provides outcome data for the current era where prolonged circulatory support can be considered for most children.
Methods & Results:
Data was retrieved on 100 consecutive children, who presented between 2010 – 2016, with a first diagnosis of unexplained heart failure. Hospital outcome was classified as either death, transplantation, recovery of function or persistent heart failure. Median age at presentation was 24 months and 58% were < 5 years old. Hospital mortality was 12% and 59% received a heart transplant. Most, 79%, of the transplants were carried out on patients with a device. Recovery of function was observed in 18% and 10% stabilised on oral therapy. Eighty-four percent of the deaths occurred in the <5 year old group. Shorter duration of support was associated with survival (34 days in survivors versus 106 in non-survivors, p = 0.01) and 72% were on an assist device at time of death.
Heart failure in children who require referral to a transplant unit is a serious illness with a high chance of either transplantation or death. Modifications in assist devices will be required to improve safety, especially for children < 5 years old where the donor wait may be prolonged. The identification of children who may recover function requires further study.
Reducing hospitalisation and length of stay (LOS) in hospital following first episode psychosis (FEP) is important, yet reliable measures of these outcomes and their moderators are lacking. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate the proportion of FEP cases who were hospitalised after their first contact with services and the LOS in a hospital during follow-up.
Studies were identified from a systematic search across major electronic databases from inception to October 2017. Random effects meta-analyses and meta-regression analyses were conducted.
81 longitudinal studies encompassing data for 23 280 FEP patients with an average follow-up length of 7 years were included. 55% (95% CI 50.3–60.5%) of FEP cases were hospitalised at least once during follow-up with the pooled average LOS of 116.7 days (95% CI 95.1–138.3). Older age of illness onset and being in a stable relationship were associated with a lower proportion of people who were hospitalised. While the proportion of hospitalised patients has not decreased over time, LOS has, with the sharpest reduction in the latest time period. The proportion of patients hospitalised during follow-up was highest in Australia and New Zealand (78.4%) compared to Europe (58.1%) and North America (48.0%); and lowest in Asia (32.5%). Black ethnicity and longer duration of untreated psychosis were associated with longer LOS; while less severe psychotic symptoms at baseline were associated with shorter LOS.
One in two FEP cases required hospitalisation at least once during a 7-year follow-up with an average length of hospitalisation of 4 months during this period. LOS has declined over time, particularly in those countries in which it was previously longest.
At Risk Mental State (ARMS) clinics are specialised mental health services for young, help-seeking people, thought to be at ultra-high risk of developing psychosis. Their stated purpose is to reduce transitions from the ARMS state to clinical psychotic disorder. Reports of ARMS clinics provide ‘evidence-based recommendations’ or ‘guidance’ for the treatment of such individuals, and claim that such clinics prevent the development of psychosis. However, we note that in an area with a very well-developed ARMS clinic (South London), only a very small proportion (4%) of patients with first episode psychosis had previously been seen at this clinic with symptoms of the ARMS. We conclude that the task of reaching sufficient people to make a major contribution to the prevention of psychosis is beyond the power of ARMS clinics. Following the preventative approaches used for many medical disorders (e.g. lung cancer, coronary artery disease), we consider that a more effective way of preventing psychosis will be to adopt a public health approach; this should attempt to decrease exposure to environmental factors such as cannabis use which are known to increase risk of the disorder.
An insect trap constructed using three-dimensional (3D) printing technology was tested in potato (Solanum tuberosum Linnaeus; Solanaceae) fields to determine whether it could substitute for the standard yellow sticky card used to monitor Bactericera cockerelli (Šulc) (Hemiptera: Psylloidea: Triozidae). Sticky cards have shortcomings that prompted search for a replacement: cards are messy, require weekly replacement, are expensive to purchase, and accumulate large numbers of nontarget insects. Bactericera cockerelli on sticky cards also deteriorate enough that specimens cannot be tested reliably for the presence of vectored plant pathogens. A prototype trap constructed using 3D printing technology for monitoring Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Psylloidea: Liviidae) was tested for monitoring B. cockerelli. The trap was designed to attract B. cockerelli visually to the trap and then funnel specimens into preservative-filled vials at the trap bottom. Prototype traps were paired against yellow sticky cards at multiple fields to compare the captures of B. cockerelli between cards and traps. The prototype trap was competitive with sticky cards early in the growing season when B. cockerelli numbers were low. We estimated that two or three prototype traps would collect as many B. cockerelli as one sticky card under these conditions. Efficacy of the prototype declined as B. cockerelli numbers increased seasonally. The prototype trap accumulated nontarget taxa that are common on sticky cards (especially Thysanoptera and Diptera), and was also found to capture taxa of possible interest in integrated pest management research, including predatory insects, parasitic Hymenoptera, and winged Aphididae (Hemiptera), suggesting that the traps could be useful outside of the purpose targeted here. We believe that 3D printing technology has substantial promise for developing monitoring tools that exploit behavioural traits of the targeted insect. Ongoing work includes the use of this technology to modify the prototype, with a focus on making it more effective at capturing psyllids and less susceptible to capture of nontarget species.
Jumping to conclusions (JTC), which is the proneness to require less information before forming beliefs or making a decision, has been related to formation and maintenance of delusions. Using data from the National Institute of Health Research Biomedical Research Centre Genetics and Psychosis (GAP) case–control study of first-episode psychosis (FEP), we set out to test whether the presence of JTC would predict poor clinical outcome at 4 years.
One-hundred and twenty-three FEP patients were assessed with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) and the probabilistic reasoning ‘Beads’ Task at the time of recruitment. The sample was split into two groups based on the presence of JTC bias. Follow-up data over an average of 4 years were obtained concerning clinical course and outcomes (remission, intervention of police, use of involuntary treatment – the Mental Health Act (MHA) – and inpatient days).
FEP who presented JTC at baseline were more likely during the follow-up period to be detained under the MHA [adjusted OR 15.62, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.92–83.54, p = 0.001], require intervention by the police (adjusted OR 14.95, 95% CI 2.68–83.34, p = 0.002) and have longer admissions (adjusted IRR = 5.03, 95% CI 1.91–13.24, p = 0.001). These associations were not accounted for by socio-demographic variables, IQ and symptom dimensions.
JTC in FEP is associated with poorer outcome as indicated and defined by more compulsion police intervention and longer periods of admission. Our findings raise the question of whether the implementation of specific interventions to reduce JTC, such as Metacognition Training, may be a useful addition in early psychosis intervention programmes.
Lateral memristors consisting of planar Ag electrodes (with sub-micrometer separation) supported on thin films of amorphous zinc-tin-oxide have been characterized. After an initial filament-forming process, each device exhibited volatile, resistive switching. In the low resistance state, the transport mechanism and conductance depended on prior activity and on the imposed current limit, mimicking biologic synaptic plasticity. Microscopic observations performed on each device revealed nanoscale filaments between the electrodes. These filaments were subject to Rayleigh instability and exhibited relaxation times determined by their effective radii. The relaxation times and on:off resistance ratios suggest suitability for threshold switching selector devices.
To determine which healthcare worker (HCW) roles and patient care activities are associated with acquisition of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) on HCW gloves or gowns after patient care, as a surrogate for transmission to other patients.
Prospective cohort study.
Medical and surgical intensive care units at a tertiary-care academic institution.
VRE-colonized patients on Contact Precautions and their HCWs.
Overall, 94 VRE-colonized patients and 469 HCW–patient interactions were observed. Research staff recorded patient care activities and cultured HCW gloves and gowns for VRE before doffing and exiting patient room.
VRE were isolated from 71 of 469 HCWs’ gloves or gowns (15%) following patient care. Occupational/physical therapists, patient care technicians, nurses, and physicians were more likely than environmental services workers and other HCWs to have contaminated gloves or gowns. Compared to touching the environment alone, the odds ratio (OR) for VRE contamination associated with touching both the patient (or objects in the immediate vicinity of the patient) and environment was 2.78 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.99–0.77) and the OR associated with touching only the patient (or objects in the immediate vicinity) was 3.65 (95% CI, 1.17–11.41). Independent risk factors for transmission of VRE to HCWs were touching the patient’s skin (OR, 2.18; 95% CI, 1.15–4.13) and transferring the patient into or out of bed (OR, 2.66; 95% CI, 1.15–6.43).
Patient contact is a major risk factor for HCW contamination and subsequent transmission. Interventions should prioritize contact precautions and hand hygiene for HCWs whose activities involve touching the patient.
Children with CHD and acquired heart disease have unique, high-risk physiology. They may have a higher risk of adverse tracheal-intubation-associated events, as compared with children with non-cardiac disease.
Materials and methods
We sought to evaluate the occurrence of adverse tracheal-intubation-associated events in children with cardiac disease compared to children with non-cardiac disease. A retrospective analysis of tracheal intubations from 38 international paediatric ICUs was performed using the National Emergency Airway Registry for Children (NEAR4KIDS) quality improvement registry. The primary outcome was the occurrence of any tracheal-intubation-associated event. Secondary outcomes included the occurrence of severe tracheal-intubation-associated events, multiple intubation attempts, and oxygen desaturation.
A total of 8851 intubations were reported between July, 2012 and March, 2016. Cardiac patients were younger, more likely to have haemodynamic instability, and less likely to have respiratory failure as an indication. The overall frequency of tracheal-intubation-associated events was not different (cardiac: 17% versus non-cardiac: 16%, p=0.13), nor was the rate of severe tracheal-intubation-associated events (cardiac: 7% versus non-cardiac: 6%, p=0.11). Tracheal-intubation-associated cardiac arrest occurred more often in cardiac patients (2.80 versus 1.28%; p<0.001), even after adjusting for patient and provider differences (adjusted odds ratio 1.79; p=0.03). Multiple intubation attempts occurred less often in cardiac patients (p=0.04), and oxygen desaturations occurred more often, even after excluding patients with cyanotic heart disease.
The overall incidence of adverse tracheal-intubation-associated events in cardiac patients was not different from that in non-cardiac patients. However, the presence of a cardiac diagnosis was associated with a higher occurrence of both tracheal-intubation-associated cardiac arrest and oxygen desaturation.
Suicidal thinking, self-harm and suicidal acts are common, although determining their precise prevalence is complex. Epidemiological work has identified a number of associated demographic and clinical factors, though, with the exception of past acts of self-harm, these are non-specific and weak future predictors. There is a critical need shift focus from managing ‘suicidality-by-proxy’ through general mental health treatments, to better understand the neuropsychology and neurophysiology of such behaviour to guide targeted interventions. The model of the cognitive control of emotion (MCCE) offers such a paradigm, with an underlying pan-diagnostic pathophysiology of a hypoactive prefrontal cortex failing to suitably inhibit an overactive threat-responding limbic system. The result is a phenotype – from any number of causative gene-environment interactions – primed to impulsively self-harm. We argue that such neural dysconnectivity is open to potential therapeutic modification from repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). The current evidence base for this is undoubtedly extremely limited, but the societal and clinical burden self-harm and suicide pose warrants such investigation.
There is no consensus as to whether magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) should be used as part of the initial clinical evaluation of patients with first-episode psychosis (FEP).
(a) To assess the logistical feasibility of routine MRI; (b) to define the clinical significance of radiological abnormalities in patients with FEP.
Radiological reports from MRI scans of two FEP samples were reviewed; one comprised 108 patients and 98 healthy controls recruited to a research study and the other comprised 241 patients scanned at initial clinical presentation plus 66 healthy controls.
In the great majority of patients, MRI was logistically feasible. Radiological abnormalities were reported in 6% of the research sample and in 15% of the clinical sample (odds ratio (OR) = 3.1, 95% CI 1.26–7.57, χ2(1) = 6.63, P = 0.01). None of the findings necessitated a change in clinical management.
Rates of neuroradiological abnormalities in FEP are likely to be underestimated in research samples that often exclude patients with organic abnormalities. However, the majority of findings do not require intervention.
Shallow ice cores were obtained from widely distributed sites across the West Antarctic ice sheet, as part of the United States portion of the International Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition (US ITASE) program. The US ITASE cores have been dated by annual-layer counting, primarily through the identification of summer peaks in non-sea-salt sulfate (nssSO42–) concentration. Absolute dating accuracy of better than 2 years and relative dating accuracy better than 1 year is demonstrated by the identification of multiple volcanic marker horizons in each of the cores, Tambora, Indonesia (1815), being the most prominent. Independent validation is provided by the tracing of isochronal layers from site to site using high-frequency ice-penetrating radar observations, and by the timing of mid-winter warming events in stable-isotope ratios, which demonstrate significantly better than 1 year accuracy in the last 20 years. Dating precision to ±1 month is demonstrated by the occurrence of summer nitrate peaks and stable-isotope ratios in phase with nssSO42–, and winter-time sea-salt peaks out of phase, with phase variation of <1 month. Dating precision and accuracy are uniform with depth, for at least the last 100 years.
To determine which comorbid conditions are considered causally related to central-line associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) and surgical-site infection (SSI) based on expert consensus.
Using the Delphi method, we administered an iterative, 2-round survey to 9 infectious disease and infection control experts from the United States.
Based on our selection of components from the Charlson and Elixhauser comorbidity indices, 35 different comorbid conditions were rated from 1 (not at all related) to 5 (strongly related) by each expert separately for CLABSI and SSI, based on perceived relatedness to the outcome. To assign expert consensus on causal relatedness for each comorbid condition, all 3 of the following criteria had to be met at the end of the second round: (1) a majority (>50%) of experts rating the condition at 3 (somewhat related) or higher, (2) interquartile range (IQR)≤1, and (3) standard deviation (SD)≤1.
From round 1 to round 2, the IQR and SD, respectively, decreased for ratings of 21 of 35 (60%) and 33 of 35 (94%) comorbid conditions for CLABSI, and for 17 of 35 (49%) and 32 of 35 (91%) comorbid conditions for SSI, suggesting improvement in consensus among this group of experts. At the end of round 2, 13 of 35 (37%) and 17 of 35 (49%) comorbid conditions were perceived as causally related to CLABSI and SSI, respectively.
Our results have produced a list of comorbid conditions that should be analyzed as risk factors for and further explored for risk adjustment of CLABSI and SSI.
The Hellenistic and Roman passion for founding, or renaming, Eastern cities in honour of their rulers abated only with the decline of urban life itself under the Byzantines, although it was never entirely forgotten. The last notable example seems to be the tragi-comic career of Tralles (Aydin) as Andronikopolis or Palaiologopolis in 1278–82. But the last emperor to have notably bestowed his (or his family’s) name on cities with the old gusto seems to have been Heraclius. It was perhaps part of a recognizable pattern of traits—the complex naming of his sons, the family groups on his coins, the concern for his own title, the quest for the True Cross, and the style of his victory despatch from Nineveh—in which one may glimpse in Heraclius a relentless and self-conscious sense of dynasty and historicity.
Clinical neuromodulation began in psychiatry with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), but in recent years several new techniques have been developed: repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), vagal nerve stimulation (VNS), trigeminal nerve stimulation (TNS) and deep brain stimulation (DBS). Each works in a different way, although the principle remains to effect therapeutic change through physically modifying brain activity. Their use in different clinical groups varies between techniques, as does their underlying evidence base. Most support currently exists for rTMS, with a more modest, but growing database for tDCS. Understandably, but problematically, most research in the other techniques has, to date, been in unmasked open trials. This article describes the mechanism of action and current evidence base for each technique, and notes the challenges facing future work in this potentially important field and new clinical avenue.