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People with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) are likely to be more susceptible to the mental health impact of COVID-19. This paper shares the perspectives of expert clinicians working with OCD considering how to identify OCD in the context of COVID-19, changes in the presentation, and importantly what to consider when undertaking cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) for OCD in the current climate. The expert consensus is that although the presentation of OCD and treatment may have become more difficult, CBT should still continue remotely unless there are specific reasons for it not to, e.g. increase in risk, no access to computer, or exposure tasks or behavioural experiments cannot be undertaken. The authors highlight some of the considerations to take in CBT in light of our current understanding of COVID-19, including therapists and clients taking calculated risks when developing behavioural experiments and exposure tasks, considering viral loading and vulnerability factors. Special considerations for young people and perinatal women are discussed, as well as foreseeing what life may be like for those with OCD after the pandemic is over.
Key learning aims
(1) To learn how to identify OCD in the context of COVID-19 and consider the differences between following government guidelines and OCD.
(2) To consider the presentation of OCD in context of COVID-19, with regard to cognitive and behavioural processes.
(3) Review factors to be considered when embarking on CBT for OCD during the pandemic.
(4) Considerations in CBT for OCD, including weighing up costs and benefits of behavioural experiments or exposure tasks in light of our current understanding of the risks associated with COVID-19.
Objectives: Prior research has identified numerous genetic (including sex), education, health, and lifestyle factors that predict cognitive decline. Traditional model selection approaches (e.g., backward or stepwise selection) attempt to find one model that best fits the observed data, risking interpretations that only the selected predictors are important. In reality, several predictor combinations may fit similarly well but result in different conclusions (e.g., about size and significance of parameter estimates). In this study, we describe an alternative method, Information-Theoretic (IT) model averaging, and apply it to characterize a set of complex interactions in a longitudinal study on cognitive decline. Methods: Here, we used longitudinal cognitive data from 1256 late–middle aged adults from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention study to examine the effects of sex, apolipoprotein E (APOE) ɛ4 allele (non-modifiable factors), and literacy achievement (modifiable) on cognitive decline. For each outcome, we applied IT model averaging to a set of models with different combinations of interactions among sex, APOE, literacy, and age. Results: For a list-learning test, model-averaged results showed better performance for women versus men, with faster decline among men; increased literacy was associated with better performance, particularly among men. APOE had less of an association with cognitive performance in this age range (∼40–70 years). Conclusions: These results illustrate the utility of the IT approach and point to literacy as a potential modifier of cognitive decline. Whether the protective effect of literacy is due to educational attainment or intrinsic verbal intellectual ability is the topic of ongoing work. (JINS, 2019, 25, 119–133)
Objectives: A major challenge in cognitive aging is differentiating preclinical disease-related cognitive decline from changes associated with normal aging. Neuropsychological test authors typically publish single time-point norms, referred to here as unconditional reference values. However, detecting significant change requires longitudinal, or conditional reference values, created by modeling cognition as a function of prior performance. Our objectives were to create, depict, and examine preliminary validity of unconditional and conditional reference values for ages 40–75 years on neuropsychological tests. Method: We used quantile regression to create growth-curve–like models of performance on tests of memory and executive function using participants from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention. Unconditional and conditional models accounted for age, sex, education, and verbal ability/literacy; conditional models also included past performance on and number of prior exposures to the test. Models were then used to estimate individuals’ unconditional and conditional percentile ranks for each test. We examined how low performance on each test (operationalized as <7th percentile) related to consensus-conference–determined cognitive statuses and subjective impairment. Results: Participants with low performance were more likely to receive an abnormal cognitive diagnosis at the current visit (but not later visits). Low performance was also linked to subjective and informant reports of worsening memory function. Conclusions: The percentile-based methods and single-test results described here show potential for detecting troublesome within-person cognitive change. Development of reference values for additional cognitive measures, investigation of alternative thresholds for abnormality (including multi-test criteria), and validation in samples with more clinical endpoints are needed. (JINS, 2019, 25, 1–14)
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate the longitudinal trajectory of self- and informant-subjective cognitive complaints (SCC), and to determine if SCC predict longitudinal changes in objective measures (OM) of cognitive function. Methods: The study included healthy and cognitively normal late middle-aged adults enriched with a family history of AD who were evaluated at up to three visits over a 4-year period. At each visit (Visit 1–3), self- and informant-SCC and OM were evaluated. Linear mixed models were used to determine if the longitudinal rate of change of self- and informant-SCC were associated with demographic variables, depressive symptoms, family history (FH), and apolipoprotein epsilon 4 (APOE4) status. The same modeling approach was used to examine the effect of Visit 1 SCC on longitudinal cognitive change after controlling for the same variables. Results: At Visit 1, more self-SCC were associated with fewer years of education and more depressive symptoms. SCC were also associated with poorer performance on cognitive measures, such that more self-SCC at Visit 1 were associated with poorer performance on memory and executive functioning measures at Visit 1, while more informant-SCC were associated with faster rate of longitudinal decline on a measure of episodic learning and memory. FH and APOE4 status were not associated with SCC. Discussion: Self- and informant-SCC showed an association with OM, albeit over different time frames in our late middle-aged sample. Additional longitudinal follow-up will likely assist in further clarifying these relationships as our sample ages and more pronounced cognitive changes eventually emerge. (JINS, 2017, 23, 617–626)
The Cambridge Companion to Literature and the Posthuman is the first work of its kind to gather diverse critical treatments of the posthuman and posthumanism together in a single volume. Fifteen scholars from six different countries address the historical and aesthetic dimensions of posthuman figures alongside posthumanism as a new paradigm in the critical humanities. The three parts and their chapters trace the history of the posthuman in literature and other media, including film and video games, and identify major political, philosophical, and techno-scientific issues raised in the literary and cinematic narratives of the posthuman and posthumanist discourses. The volume surveys the key works, primary modes, and critical theories engaged by depictions of the posthuman and discussions about posthumanism.
Objectives: Intraindividual cognitive variability (IICV) has been shown to differentiate between groups with normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and dementia. This study examined whether baseline IICV predicted subsequent mild to moderate cognitive impairment in a cognitively normal baseline sample. Methods: Participants with 4 waves of cognitive assessment were drawn from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention (WRAP; n=684; 53.6(6.6) baseline age; 9.1(1.0) years follow-up; 70% female; 74.6% parental history of Alzheimer’s disease). The primary outcome was Wave 4 cognitive status (“cognitively normal” vs. “impaired”) determined by consensus conference; “impaired” included early MCI (n=109), clinical MCI (n=11), or dementia (n=1). Primary predictors included two IICV variables, each based on the standard deviation of a set of scores: “6 Factor IICV” and “4 Test IICV”. Each IICV variable was tested in a series of logistic regression models to determine whether IICV predicted cognitive status. In exploratory analyses, distribution-based cutoffs incorporating memory, executive function, and IICV patterns were used to create and test an MCI risk variable. Results: Results were similar for the IICV variables: higher IICV was associated with greater risk of subsequent impairment after covariate adjustment. After adjusting for memory and executive functioning scores contributing to IICV, IICV was not significant. The MCI risk variable also predicted risk of impairment. Conclusions: While IICV in middle-age predicts subsequent impairment, it is a weaker risk indicator than the memory and executive function scores contributing to its calculation. Exploratory analyses suggest potential to incorporate IICV patterns into risk assessment in clinical settings. (JINS, 2016, 22, 1016–1025)
Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) has similar prevalence rates across
ethnic groups. However, ethnic minorities are underrepresented in
clinical trials of OCD. It is unclear whether this is also the case in
To explore whether ethnic minorities with OCD are underrepresented in
secondary and tertiary mental health services in the South London and
Maudsley (SLaM) NHS Foundation Trust.
The ethnic distribution of patients with OCD seen between 1999 and 2013
in SLaM (n = 1528) was compared with that of the general
population in the catchment area using census data. A cohort of patients
with depression (n = 22 716) was used for comparative
Ethnic minorities with OCD were severely underrepresented across services
(–57%, 95% CI –62% to –52%). The magnitude of the observed inequalities
was significantly more pronounced than in depression (–29%, 95% CI–31%
There is a clear need to understand the reasons behind such ethnic
inequalities and implement measures to reduce them.