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Around 30% of individuals with schizophrenia remain symptomatic and significantly impaired despite antipsychotic treatment and are considered to be treatment resistant. Clinicians are currently unable to predict which patients are at higher risk of treatment resistance.
To determine whether genetic liability for schizophrenia and/or clinical characteristics measurable at illness onset can prospectively indicate a higher risk of treatment-resistant psychosis (TRP).
In 1070 individuals with schizophrenia or related psychotic disorders, schizophrenia polygenic risk scores (PRS) and large copy number variations (CNVs) were assessed for enrichment in TRP. Regression and machine-learning approaches were used to investigate the association of phenotypes related to demographics, family history, premorbid factors and illness onset with TRP.
Younger age at onset (odds ratio 0.94, P = 7.79 × 10−13) and poor premorbid social adjustment (odds ratio 1.64, P = 2.41 × 10−4) increased risk of TRP in univariate regression analyses. These factors remained associated in multivariate regression analyses, which also found lower premorbid IQ (odds ratio 0.98, P = 7.76 × 10−3), younger father's age at birth (odds ratio 0.97, P = 0.015) and cannabis use (odds ratio 1.60, P = 0.025) increased the risk of TRP. Machine-learning approaches found age at onset to be the most important predictor and also identified premorbid IQ and poor social adjustment as predictors of TRP, mirroring findings from regression analyses. Genetic liability for schizophrenia was not associated with TRP.
People with an earlier age at onset of psychosis and poor premorbid functioning are more likely to be treatment resistant. The genetic architecture of susceptibility to schizophrenia may be distinct from that of treatment outcomes.
Background: Diffusion-tensor imaging (DTI) tractography is commonly used in neurosurgical practice, but is largely limited to the preoperative setting. This is due primarily to image degradation caused by susceptibility artifact when conventional single-shot (SS) echo-planar imaging DTI is acquired for open cranial, surgical position intraoperative DTI (iDTI). A novel, artifact-resistant, readout-segmented (RS) DTI has not yet been evaluated in the intraoperative MRI (iMRI) environment. Our objective was to evaluate the performance of RS-DTI versus SS-DTI for intraoperative white matter imaging. Methods: Pre- and intraoperative 3T, T1-weighted and DTI (RS-iDTI and SS-iDTI) in 22 adults undergoing intraaxial iMRI resections (low-grade glioma: 14, 64%; high-grade glioma: 7, 32%; cortical dysplasia: 1). Regional susceptibility artifact, anatomical deviation relative to T1WI, and tractographic output were compared between iDTI sequences. Results: RS-iDTI resulted in less regional susceptibility artifact and mean anatomic deviation (RS-iDTI: 2.7±0.2 mm versus SS-iDTI 7.5±0.4 mm; p<0.0001). Tractographic failure occurred in 8/22 (36%) patients for SS-iDTI whereas RS-iDTI permitted successful reconstruction in 4 of these 8. Maximal tractographic differences between DTI sequences were substantial (mean 9.7±5.7 mm). Conclusions: Readout-segmented EPI enables higher quality and more accurate DTI for surgically relevant tractography of major white matter tracts in intraoperative, open cranium, neurosurgical applications at 3T.
Background: Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) involves the induction of a generalized seizure with an electrical current and has been used worldwide when treating medically refractory psychiatric illness. Here we describe a patient with no prior history or risk factors for epilepsy who developed temporal lobe epilepsy after chronic treatment of ECT. Methods: A 16-year-old right-handed boy with severe refractory depression received ECT treatment every 10 days for 8 months. Six months into his ECT treatment, the patient developed seizures and was admitted to a pediatric epilepsy monitoring unit. Results: Initial clinical events included lightheadedness, diaphoresis, and nausea with associated kaleidoscopic vision changes. Seizures progressed to confusion, fear and paranoia by the time the patient was admitted for monitoring. Long-term video EEG captured many focal seizures with impaired awareness, all originating from both temporal lobes. MRI was normal. ECT was terminated and the patient started on carbamazepine. He has been seizure free for the past 2 years on medication Conclusions: While rare, we present a case of a patient with no prior risk factors for epilepsy who developed temporal lobe epilepsy after chronic ECT treatment. Although ECT is an indispensable treatment for many medically refractory psychiatric illnesses, we suggest caution in young patient undergoing ECT.
Background: Insertion of an external ventricular drain (EVD) is performed to treat elevated intracranial pressure. EVD catheters are associated with complications such as EVD catheter infection (ECI), intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) and suboptimal catheter placement. As part of the Canadian Neurosurgery Research Collaborative, we sought to investigate the national rate of such complications and their risk factors. Methods: Prospective study of 273 patients from eight academic Canadian neurosurgery centres Results: Infection rate was 6% and predicted by smaller incisions and not peri-procedure antibiotics, tunneling distance, type of antiseptic used or catheter flushing (p>0.05). The mean duration of EVD was 17.7±3.7 in ECI and ventriculitis group which was significantly higher than in patients without ECI (9.4±8.1) (p=0.045). Although the risk of developing ICH was 9.3%, symptomatic ICH was rare. Pre-procedure pharmacological DVT prophylaxis predicted EVD-related ICH(OR 4.73). The rate of suboptimal catheter location was 31% and predicted by the number of passes (p=0.02), but not image guidance, level of training or catheter placement in an operating room setting (p>0.05). Conclusions: This study reports EVD complication rates and their associated risk factors observed within an academic, multicentre Canadian cohort. This information will help to identify strategies to increase the safety of this common neurosurgical procedure.
Introduction: Simulation is becoming widely adopted across medical disciplines and by different medical professionals. For medical students, emergency medicine simulation has been shown to increase knowledge, confidence and satisfaction. At the University of Ottawa Skills and Simulation Centre, third-year medical students participate in simulated scenarios common to Emergency Medicine (EM) as part of their mandatory EM clerkship rotation. This study aims to evaluate simulation as part of the EM clerkship rotation by assessing changes in student confidence following a simulation session. Methods: In groups of seven, third year medical students at the University of Ottawa completed simulation sessions of the following: Status Asthmaticus, Status Epilepticus, Urosepsis and Breaking Bad News. Student confidence with each topic was assessed before and after simulation with a written survey. Confidence scores pre- and post-simulation were compared with the Wilcoxon signed rank test. Results: Forty-eight third years medical students in their core EM clerkship rotation, between September 2017 and August 2018 participated in this study. Medical student confidence with diagnosis of status asthmaticus (N = 44, p = 0.0449) and status epilepticus (N = 45, p = 0.0011) increased significantly following simulation, whereas confidence with diagnosis of urosepsis was unchanged (N = 45, p = 0.0871). Treatment confidence increased significantly for status asthmaticus (N = 47, p = 0.0009), status epilepticus (N = 48, p = 0.0005) and urosepsis (N = 48, p < 0.0001). Confidence for breaking bad news was not significantly changed after simulation (N = 47, p = 0.0689). Conclusion: Simulation training in our EM clerkship rotation significantly increased the confidence of medical students for certain common EM presentations, but not for all. Further work will aim to understand why some simulation scenarios did not improve confidence, and look to improve existing scenarios.
Introduction: Learners, ether medical students or residents, often provide the initial assessment of patients visiting the Emergency Department (ED). Their involvement in ED patient care has been shown to increase length of stay, time to disposition decision, utilization of imaging and admission rates. It is unclear, however, if learners have an impact on the rate of short-term unscheduled return visits. The objective of this study was to determine if the involvement of learners in ED visits increases the rate of short-term unscheduled return visits. Methods: This study was a retrospective analysis of ED visit data at a single tertiary care center over a one-year period. Short-term unscheduled return visits (return visits) were defined as ED visits presenting within 72 hours of discharge from an initial non-admit ED visit and resulting in an admission to an inpatient unit on the second visit. The primary outcome was the rate of return visits for each staff physician, with and without learners involved during the initial visit. The secondary outcome assessed the interaction of level of training (medical student year 3, 4, resident year 1, 2, etc.) on return visit rates. For the primary outcome, statistical analysis was with a Wilcoxon Matched Pairs test; staff alone vs with learners. A Kruskal-Wallis test was used to compare learner level of training. Results: Return visits accounted for 1858 (1.09%) of all visits (N = 172494) to this tertiary care ED over the one-year study period. Return visits were statistically more likely when learners were involved in the initial ED visit (1.16%, CI 0.12), compared to initial visits seen by staff physicians alone (0.88%, CI 0.09) (p < 0.0001). Return rates were statistically higher for PGY2 (1.67% CI 0.35) and PGY3 (1.66% CI 0.28) residents compared to staff physicians alone (p < 0.0001). There was no difference in return visit rates between staff physicians and third year medical students (1.07% CI 0.27), fourth year medical students (1.21% CI 0.37), PGY1 (1.42% CI 0.22), PGY4 (1.23% CI 0.54) or PGY5 (1.33% CI 0.49) residents. Conclusion: This study demonstrated that the involvement of learners in ED patient assessments increased the rate of short-term unscheduled return visits. Moreover, return visit rates were highest for PGY2 and PGY3 residents. Further work is needed to understand the factors that contribute to this phenomenon.
Rare copy number variants (CNVs) are associated with risk of neurodevelopmental disorders characterised by varying degrees of cognitive impairment, including schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability. However, the effects of many individual CNVs in carriers without neurodevelopmental disorders are not yet fully understood, and little is known about the effects of reciprocal copy number changes of known pathogenic loci.
We aimed to analyse the effect of CNV carrier status on cognitive performance and measures of occupational and social outcomes in unaffected individuals from the UK Biobank.
We called CNVs in the full UK Biobank sample and analysed data from 420 247 individuals who passed CNV quality control, reported White British or Irish ancestry and were not diagnosed with neurodevelopmental disorders. We analysed 33 pathogenic CNVs, including their reciprocal deletions/duplications, for association with seven cognitive tests and four general measures of functioning: academic qualifications, occupation, household income and Townsend Deprivation Index.
Most CNVs (24 out of 33) were associated with reduced performance on at least one cognitive test or measure of functioning. The changes on the cognitive tests were modest (average reduction of 0.13 s.d.) but varied markedly between CNVs. All 12 schizophrenia-associated CNVs were associated with significant impairments on measures of functioning.
CNVs implicated in neurodevelopmental disorders, including schizophrenia, are associated with cognitive deficits, even among unaffected individuals. These deficits may be subtle but CNV carriers have significant disadvantages in educational attainment and ability to earn income in adult life.
Identifying characteristics of individuals at greatest risk for prolonged grief disorder (PGD) can improve its detection and elucidate the etiology of the disorder. The Safe Passage Study, a study of women at high risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), prospectively examined the psychosocial functioning of women while monitoring their healthy pregnancies. Mothers whose infants died of SIDS were followed in bereavement.
Pre-loss data were collected from 12 000 pregnant mothers and analyzed for their associations with grief symptoms and PGD in 50 mothers whose infants died from SIDS, from 2 to 48 months after their infant's death, focusing on pre-loss risk factors of anxiety, depression, alcohol use, maternal age, the presence of other living children in the home, and previous child loss.
The presence of any four risk factors significantly predicted PGD for 24 months post-loss (p < 0.003); 2–3 risk factors predicted PGD for 12 months (p = 0.02). PGD rates increased in the second post-loss year, converging in all groups to approximately 40% by 3 years. Pre-loss depressive symptoms were significantly associated with PGD. Higher alcohol intake and older maternal age were consistently positively associated with PGD. Predicted risk scores showed good discrimination between PGD and no PGD 6–24 months after loss (C-statistic = 0.83).
A combination of personal risk factors predicted PGD in 2 years of bereavement. There is a convergence of risk groups to high rates at 2–3 years, marked by increased PGD rates in mothers at low risk. The risk factors showed different effects on PGD.
The aim of this study was to characterise changes in lean soft tissue (LST) and examine the contributions of energy intake, physical activity and breast-feeding practices to LST changes at 3 and 9 months postpartum. We examined current weight, LST (via dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry), dietary intake (3-d food diary), physical activity (Baecke questionnaire) and breast-feeding practices (3-d breast-feeding diary) in forty-nine women aged 32·9 (sd 3·8) years. Changes in LST varied from −2·51 to +2·50 kg with twenty-nine women gaining LST (1·1 (sd 0·7) kg, P<0·001) and twenty women losing LST (−0·9 (sd 0·8) kg, P<0·001). Energy intake (133 (SD 42) v. 109 (SD 33) kJ/kg, P=0·019) and % kJ from fat at 3 months postpartum was higher in women who gained LST at 9 months postpartum (gained LST=34 (sd 5) % kJ; lost LST=29 (sd 4) % kJ, P=0·002). Women who gained LST reported breast-feeding their infants more frequently (gained LST=8 (sd 3) feeds/d; lost LST=5 (sd 1) feeds/d, P=0·014) and for more time per d (gained LST=115 (sd 78) min/d; lost LST=59 (sd 34) min/d, P=0·016) at 9 months postpartum. Energy intake and % kJ from fat at 3 months were significant predictors of LST gain (β=0·08 (se 0·04) and 0·24 (se 0·09), respectively). This suggests that gain in LST may be associated with more frequent and longer episodes of breast-feeding at 9 months postpartum as well as dietary intake early in the postpartum period.
Light sheet fluorescence microscopy (LSFM) allows for high-resolution three-dimensional imaging with minimal photo-damage. By viewing the sample from different directions, different regions of large specimens can be imaged optimally. Moreover, owing to their good spatial resolution and high signal-to-noise ratio, LSFM data are well suited for image deconvolution. Here we present the Huygens Fusion and Deconvolution Wizard, a unique integrated solution for restoring LSFM images, and show that improvements in signal and resolution of 1.5 times and higher are feasible.
The Arizona Department of Health Services identified unusually high levels of influenza activity and severe complications during the 2015–2016 influenza season leading to concerns about potential increased disease severity compared with prior seasons. We estimated state-level burden and severity to compare across three seasons using multiple data sources for community-level illness, hospitalisation and death. Severity ratios were calculated as the number of hospitalisations or deaths per community case. Community influenza-like illness rates, hospitalisation rates and mortality rates in 2015–2016 were higher than the previous two seasons. However, ratios of severe disease to community illness were similar. Arizona experienced overall increased disease burden in 2015–2016, but not increased severity compared with prior seasons. Timely estimates of state-specific burden and severity are potentially feasible and may provide important information during seemingly unusual influenza seasons or pandemic situations.
Background: Surgical treatment of trigeminal neuralgia (TN) can be highly effective, but durability of pain relief varies and factors influencing surgical failure are poorly understood. We hypothesized that structural brain differences—assessed using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)—might distinguish surgical responders from early non-responders. Methods: We retrospectively identified 35 TN patients treated surgically from 2005-2017 with high-resolution, -pre-operative MRI scans adequate for quantitative structural analysis. Patients were classified as non-responders if, within 12-months after surgery, they: 1) underwent or were offered another surgical procedure; or 2) reported persistent, inadequately-controlled pain. Volumes of pain-relevant subcortical structures (amygdala, thalamus, and hippocampus) were measured on T1-weighted MRI scans using an automated approach (FSL-FIRST). Results: Surgical responders had significantly larger hippocampi bilaterally compared to early non-responders. Thalamus and amygdala volumes did not differ between groups. Conclusions: Pre-operative differences in brain structure, notably in the hippocampus, may predict durability of response to surgery in patients with TN.
Background: External ventricular drain (EVD) insertion is a common neurosurgical procedure performed in patients with life-threatening conditions, but can be associated with complications. The objectives of this study are to evaluate data on national practice patterns and complications rates in order to optimize clinical care Methods: The Canadian Neurosurgery Research Collaborative conducted a prospective multi-centre registry of patients undergoing EVD insertions at Canadian residency programs Results: In this interim analysis, 4 sites had recruited 46 patients (mean age: 53.9 years, male:female 2:1). Most EVD insertions occurred outside of the operating theatre, using free-hand technique, and performed by junior neurosurgery residents (R1-R3). The catheter tip was in the ipsilateral frontal horn or body of the lateral ventricle in 76% of cases. Suboptimally placed catheters did not have higher rates of short-term occlusion. EVD-related hemorrhage occurred in 6.5% (3/45) with only 1 symptomatic patient. EVD-related infection occurred in 13% (6/46) at a mean of 6 days and was associated with longer duration of CSF drainage (P=0.039; OR: 1.13) Conclusions: Interim results indicate rates of EVD-related complications may be higher than previously thought. This study will continue to recruit patients to confirm these findings and determine specific risk factors associated with them
The Working Party has developed some practical hints and tips for those developing integrated risk management (IRM) plans for UK defined benefit pension schemes in the context of the requirements of the Pensions Regulator. Four case studies are presented to illustrate its conclusions, which are encapsulated in the ten commandments for effective IRM. IRM is the consideration of investment, funding and covenant issues, and how these interact. Its purpose should be to aid decision making and so should have a clear outcome in mind. It should be a continuous process and should form part of everyday trustee governance – it is not simply a one-off exercise. Whilst most Trustees and advisors consider funding issues when setting their investment strategy and vice versa, fewer fully integrate covenant into their decision-making process. However, covenant underpins all risk taken in a pension scheme and so needs to form a regular part of trustee discussions and analysis by advisors.
Background: The Canadian Neurosurgery Research Collaborative (CNRC) was founded in November 2015 as a resident-led national network for multicentre research. We present an annual report of our activities. Methods: CNRC meetings and publications were reviewed and summarized. The status of ongoing and future studies was collected from project leaders. Results: In its first year, the CNRC produced two papers accepted for publication in the Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences: A CNRC launch letter and a study of operative volume at Canadian neurosurgery residency programs. Three manuscripts are in preparation: 1) a study of the demographics of Canadian neurosurgery residents, 2) an assessment of mobile devices usage patterns and 3) a validation study of the most utilized neurosurgery mobile apps. In addition, protocols for two multi-centre studies are currently undergoing national Research Ethics Board review: A retrospective study of the incidence and predictors of cerebellar mutism and a prospective registry of external ventricular drain procedures and complications. The network is now a registered not-for-profit organization endorsed by the Canadian Neurosurgical Society. Conclusions: The CNRC is a feasibile, relevant and productive resident-led national research network. As the CNRC matures, we look forward to expanding the scope and impact of its projects.
Background: Communicating with senior neurosurgical colleagues during residency necessitates a reliable and versatile smartphone. Smartphones and their apps are commonplace. They enhance communication with colleagues, provide the ability to access patient information and results, and allow access to medical reference applications. Patient data safety and compliance with the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA, 2004) in Canada remain a public concern that can significantly impact the way in which mobile smartphones are utilized by resident physicians Methods: Through the Canadian Neurosurgery Research Collaborative (CNRC), an online survey characterizing smartphone ownership and utilization of apps among Canadian neurosurgery residents and fellows was completed in April 2016. Results: Our study had a 47% response rate (80 surveys completed out of 171 eligible residents and fellows). Smartphone ownership was almost universal with a high rate of app utilization for learning and facilitating the care of patients. Utilization of smartphones to communicate and transfer urgent imaging with senior colleagues was common. Conclusions: Smartphone and app utilization is an essential part of neurosurgery resident workflow. In this study we characterize the smartphone and app usage within a specialized cohort of residents and suggest potential solutions to facilitate greater PHIPA adherence
Negative bias and aberrant neural processing of emotional faces are trait-marks of depression but findings in healthy high-risk groups are conflicting.
Healthy middle-aged dizygotic twins (N = 42) underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI): 22 twins had a co-twin history of depression (high-risk) and 20 were without co-twin history of depression (low-risk). During fMRI, participants viewed fearful and happy faces while performing a gender discrimination task. After the scan, they were given a faces dot-probe task, a facial expression recognition task and questionnaires assessing mood, personality traits and coping.
Unexpectedly, high-risk twins showed reduced fear vigilance and lower recognition of fear and happiness relative to low-risk twins. During face processing in the scanner, high-risk twins displayed distinct negative functional coupling between the amygdala and ventral prefrontal cortex and pregenual anterior cingulate. This was accompanied by greater fear-specific fronto-temporal response and reduced fronto-occipital response to all emotional faces relative to baseline. The risk groups showed no differences in mood, subjective state or coping.
Less susceptibility to fearful faces and negative cortico-limbic coupling during emotional face processing may reflect neurocognitive compensatory mechanisms in middle-aged dizygotic twins who remain healthy despite their familial risk of depression.
A high proportion of patients with remitted major depressive disorder (MDD) will experience recurring episodes, whilst some develop resilience and remain in recovery. The neural basis of resilience to recurrence is elusive. Abnormal resting-state connectivity of the subgenual cingulate cortex (sgACC) was previously found in cross-sectional studies of MDD, suggesting its potential pathophysiological importance. The current study aimed to investigate whether resting-state connectivity to a left sgACC seed region distinguishes resilient patients from those developing recurring episodes.
A total of 47 medication-free remitted MDD patients and 38 healthy controls underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) at baseline. Over 14 months, 30 patients remained resilient whilst 17 experienced a recurring episode.
Attenuated interhemispheric left-to-right sgACC connectivity distinguished the resilient from the recurring-episode and control groups and was not correlated with residual depressive symptoms.
The current study revealed a neural signature of resilience to recurrence in MDD and thereby elucidates the role of compensatory adaptation in sgACC networks.
The effects of nonconservative sources (inputs) and sinks (outputs) of carbon are indicated by the behavior of Δ14C and δ13C of the total dissolved inorganic carbon (ΣCO2) in San Francisco Bay and Chesapeake Bay. Isotopic distributions and model calculations indicate that in North San Francisco Bay the net CO2 flux to the atmosphere and carbon utilization in the water column are balanced by benthic production. Municipal waste appears to be a dominant source in South San Francisco Bav. In Chesapeake Bay, atmospheric exchange has increased the Δ14C and δ13C in the surface water. Decomposition of organic matter in the water column is indicated to be the dominant source of excess ΣCO2 in the deep water.