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In this paper, we characterize a high repetition-rate regenerating plasma mirror produced by the thin film of liquid formed when two laminar streams collide. The use of a flowing liquid film is inexpensive and the interaction surface refreshes automatically, avoiding buildup of on-target debris. The composition of the liquid material and the relative angle of the film-generating nozzles was optimized for this application. Spectra measured in reflection from a water-based plasma mirror showed a blue shift but an optical reflectivity of up to 30%. The thickness of the film was found to be of the order of 2
m, and the stability of the reflected spot was
mrad. The reflected beam profile was highly distorted but stable. Further optimization of the nozzles to affect the fluid flow should enable significant improvements in control of the fluid films and increase in the reflectivity of these mirrors.
Irish medical schools attract an increasingly diverse student population and produce graduates who will practise in many parts of the world. There are particular implications in this for the planning and delivery of the undergraduate psychiatry curriculum. In all countries, mental health services struggle for equitable resourcing, and mental health care within general medical services remains relatively neglected. The traditional undergraduate psychiatry offering has been justifiably criticised for being excessively oriented towards secondary care when the vast majority of medical graduates will pursue careers in primary care or in specialties other than psychiatry. Recently published articles in the Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine address the current challenges and opportunities in providing an undergraduate experience that better prepares students for the mental health aspects of medical practice in a global context. We summarise and discuss these contributions and the recent Royal College of Psychiatrists publication Choose Psychiatry: Guidance for Medical Schools.
Aripiprazole and quetiapine are the two most recent second generation antipsychotics available in the UK. We aimed to study patients who were prescribed aripiprazole and quetiapine in routine clinical practice, to identify and compare patients who had a good clinical response.
From a data set of 22,000 electronic patient records (from 2002 to 2007), we retrospectively identified all secondary care psychiatric patients started on aripiprazole and quetiapine for schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. We retrospectively assigned a severity and an improvement score of Clinical Global Impression (CGI) to records, to measure the effectiveness of both drugs.
89 patients were newly prescribed aripiprazole and 132 patients prescribed quetiapine, for schizophrenia and other psychotic conditions. Patients on aripiprazole had a lower initial severity of illness, CGI (Severity) 3.9 versus 4.4, p=0.0003. After excluding treatment resistant patients, a CGI (Improvement) score 1-4 (minimally to very much improved) was achieved with aripiprazole in 69% and quetiapine in 71% of patients. There were no statistical differences in overall discontinuation rates (aripiprazole 40%, quetiapine 41.5%). There were differences in mean time to discontinuation, aripiprazole,165 days, quetiapine, 267 days (p=0.017)
This study is an independent comparison of aripiprazole and quetiapine in schizophrenia and psychoses. Both aripiprazole and quetiapine were clinically effective in the majority of patients. CGI improvement scores were similar for both drugs as were overall discontinuation rates. Patients on aripiprazole, however, discontinued earlier than those discontinuing from quetiapine.
Animal experimental studies suggest that 5-HT4 receptor activation holds promise as a novel target for the treatment of depression and cognitive impairment. 5-HT4 receptors are post-synaptic receptors that are located in striatal and limbic areas known to be involved in cognition and mood. Consistent with this, 5-HT4 receptor agonists produce rapid antidepressant effects in a number of animal models of depression, and pro-cognitive effects in tasks of learning and memory. These effects are accompanied by molecular changes, such as the increased expression of neuroplasticity-related proteins that are typical of clinically useful antidepressant drugs. Intriguingly, these antidepressant-like effects have a fast onset of their action, raising the possibility that 5-HT4 receptor agonists may be a particularly useful augmentation strategy in the early stages of SSRI treatment. Until recently, the translation of these effects to humans has been challenging. Here, we review the evidence from animal studies that the 5-HT4 receptor is a promising target for the treatment of depression and cognitive disorders, and outline a potential pathway for the efficient and cost-effective translation of these effects into humans and, ultimately, to the clinic.
Involuntary admission and treatment is often a traumatic experience for patients and there is a wide variation in attitudes towards care even when patients are recovered.
The purpose of this large prospective study was to identify clinical predictors of attitudes towards care during involuntary admission.
Three hundred and ninety-one consecutively admitted involuntarily patients to three psychiatric inpatient units over a 30-month period were invited to participate in the study. Comprehensive assessments at admission and 3 months after discharge were attained including measures of symptoms, insight, functioning, attitudes towards involuntary admission and coercive experiences. Multiple linear regression modelling was used to determine the optimal explanatory variables for attitudes towards care.
Two hundred and sixty-three individuals participated at baseline and 156 (59%) successfully completed follow-up assessments. Individuals improved significantly over time clinically and in their attitudes towards their care. At baseline greater insight (P < 0.001) and less symptoms (P = 0.02) were associated with more positive attitudes towards care as was older age (P = 0.001). At follow-up, greater insight (P < 0.001), less symptoms (P = 0.02) and being older (P = 0.04) were associated with more positive attitudes towards care. More positive attitudes towards care at follow-up were associated with greater improvements in insight over time (P < 0.001) and having a diagnosis of an affective psychosis (P = 0.0009).
The best predictors of positive attitudes towards care during and after involuntary admission are illness related factors, such as levels of insight and improvement in insight, rather than service or legislation related factors, such as the use of coercive measures, seclusion and restraint.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Cognitive deficits have been reported during the early stages of bipolar disorder; however, the role of medication on such deficits remains unclear. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of lithium and quetiapine monotherapy on cognitive performance in people following first episode mania.
The design was a single-blind, randomised controlled trial on a cohort of 61 participants following first episode mania. Participants received either lithium or quetiapine monotherapy as maintenance treatment over a 12-month follow-up period. The groups were compared on performance outcomes using an extensive cognitive assessment battery conducted at baseline, month 3 and month 12 follow-up time-points.
There was a significant interaction between group and time in phonemic fluency at the 3-month and 12-month endpoints, reflecting greater improvements in performance in lithium-treated participants relative to quetiapine-treated participants. After controlling for multiple comparisons, there were no other significant interactions between group and time for other measures of cognition.
Although the effects of lithium and quetiapine treatment were similar for most cognitive domains, the findings imply that early initiation of lithium treatment may benefit the trajectory of cognition, specifically verbal fluency in young people with bipolar disorder. Given that cognition is a major symptomatic domain of bipolar disorder and has substantive effects on general functioning, the ability to influence the trajectory of cognitive change is of considerable clinical importance.
The Mental Health Act 2001 provides a legal framework for the involuntary admission and treatment of individuals deemed to have a mental disorder to psychiatric units. The perspectives of people who have been detained are relatively poorly understood.
To develop a theoretical understanding of individual's experiences throughout the trajectory of their detention and to understand the psychological and social processes that individuals use to cope before, during and after detention.
Fifty individuals subject to detention across three psychiatric units consented to be interviewed three months after their detention. Using a semi-structured interview people recounted their experiences. Interviews were analysed using the principles underpinning Grounded Theory.
The theory ‘Preserving Control’ encapsulates individuals’ experiences and consists of three related themes: ‘Losing Control’, ‘Regaining Control’ and ‘Maintaining Control’. ‘Losing Control’ describes individuals’ experiences of losing their autonomy and liberty thought the process of detention and hospitalisation. ‘Regaining Control describes, the strategies individuals used in an attempted to restore their loss of autonomy and control. ‘Maintaining Control’ describes how individuals lived with the consequences of detention and contended with impact on discharge.
Whilst a large variation existed in relation to the subjective experience of being detained, the characteristic process that individuals tend to experience related to identifiable phases of preserving control in the face of this loss of autonomy. Findings from this study highlight the importance of more sensitive interactions support and information during and after the detention process.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
ADHD in childhood is associated with development of negative psychosocial and behavioural outcomes in adults. Yet, relatively little is known about which childhood and adulthood factors are predictive of these outcomes and could be targets for effective interventions. To date follow-up studies have largely used clinical samples from the United States with children ascertained at baseline using broad criteria for ADHD including all clinical subtypes or the use of DSM III criteria.
To identify child and adult predictors of comorbid and psychosocial comorbid outcomes in ADHD in a UK sample of children with DSM-IV combined type ADHD.
One hundred and eighteen adolescents and young adults diagnosed with DSM-IV combined type ADHD in childhood were followed for an average of 6 years. Comorbid mental health problems, drug and alcohol use and police contact were compared for those with persistent ADHD, sub-threshold ADHD and population norms taken from the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Study 2007. Predictors included ADHD symptomology and gender.
Persistent ADHD was associated with greater levels of anger, fatigue, sleep problems and anxiety compared to sub-threshold ADHD. Comorbid mental health problems were predicted by current symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity, but not by childhood ADHD severity. Both persistent and sub-threshold ADHD was associated with higher levels of drug use and police contact compared to population norms.
Young adults with a childhood diagnosis of ADHD showed increased rates of comorbid mental health problems, which were predicted by current levels of ADHD symptoms. This suggests the importance of the continuing treatment of ADHD throughout the transitional years and into adulthood. Drug use and police contact were more common in ADHD but were not predicted by ADHD severity in this sample.
The goal of this poster is to discuss a brief pilot study in which mindfulness – and yoga-based practices were utilized with a group of adult ADHD patients.
A sample of 10 adults participated in a pilot group which utilized the use mindfulness-based and yoga practices to address ADHD. This group was a single 2 hour session which was a pilot for a future 6-week psycho-educational group. The participants completed the following questionnaires: the Cognitive and Affective Mindfulness Scale (CAMS-R), the Freiburg mindfulness inventory and the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS) in addition to a survey regarding levels of knowledge of yoga and mindfulness prior to the beginning of the session. The participants completed a survey at the end of the session.
In our small sample group, all respondents reported that they found the session helpful (43% strongly agreed; 57% agreed). When asked if the participants were likely to explore and learn more about ADHD and meditation on their own based on what they learned in the session, most indicated that they were likely to (43% strongly agreed; 43% agreed and 14% were neutral).
The use of treatment modalities involving the use of meditation and mindfulness-based techniques in a group setting are thought to be helpful in addressing some of the target symptoms of ADHD. Based on the preliminary data collected in our small pilot study, our group intends to further explore the efficacy of meditation-based groups in the form of a 6-week training program in 2017.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
During pregnancy, changes occur to influence the maternal gut microbiome, and potentially the fetal microbiome. Diet has been shown to impact the gut microbiome. Little research has been conducted examining diet during pregnancy with respect to the gut microbiome. To meet inclusion criteria, dietary analyses must have been conducted as part of the primary aim. The primary outcome was the composition of the gut microbiome (infant or maternal), as assessed using culture-independent sequencing techniques. This review identified seven studies for inclusion, five examining the maternal gut microbiome and two examining the fetal gut microbiome. Microbial data were attained through analysis of stool samples by 16S rRNA gene-based microbiota assessment. Studies found an association between the maternal diet and gut microbiome. High-fat diets (% fat of total energy), fat-soluble vitamins (mg/day) and fibre (g/day) were the most significant nutrients associated with the gut microbiota composition of both neonates and mothers. High-fat diets were significantly associated with a reduction in microbial diversity. High-fat diets may reduce microbial diversity, while fibre intake may be positively associated with microbial diversity. The results of this review must be interpreted with caution. The number of studies was low, and the risk of observational bias and heterogeneity across the studies must be considered. However, these results show promise for dietary intervention and microbial manipulation in order to favour an increase of health-associated taxa in the gut of the mother and her offspring.
Preliminary evidence has suggested that high-fat diets (HFD) enriched with SFA, but not MUFA, promote hyperinsulinaemia and pancreatic hypertrophy with insulin resistance. The objective of this study was to determine whether the substitution of dietary MUFA within a HFD could attenuate the progression of pancreatic islet dysfunction seen with prolonged SFA-HFD. For 32 weeks, C57BL/6J mice were fed either: (1) low-fat diet, (2) SFA-HFD or (3) SFA-HFD for 16 weeks, then switched to MUFA-HFD for 16 weeks (SFA-to-MUFA-HFD). Fasting insulin was assessed throughout the study; islets were isolated following the intervention. Substituting SFA with MUFA-HFD prevented the progression of hyperinsulinaemia observed in SFA-HFD mice (P < 0·001). Glucose-stimulated insulin secretion from isolated islets was reduced by SFA-HFD, yet not fully affected by SFA-to-MUFA-HFD. Markers of β-cell identity (Ins2, Nkx6.1, Ngn3, Rfx6, Pdx1 and Pax6) were reduced, and islet inflammation was increased (IL-1β, 3·0-fold, P = 0·007; CD68, 2·9-fold, P = 0·001; Il-6, 1·1-fold, P = 0·437) in SFA-HFD – effects not seen with SFA-to-MUFA-HFD. Switching to MUFA-HFD can partly attenuate the progression of SFA-HFD-induced hyperinsulinaemia, pancreatic inflammation and impairments in β-cell function. While further work is required from a mechanistic perspective, dietary fat may mediate its effect in an IL-1β–AMP-activated protein kinase α1-dependent fashion. Future work should assess the potential translation of the modulation of metabolic inflammation in man.
Accurate methods for determining the duration of HIV infection at the individual level are valuable in many settings, including many critical research studies and in clinical practice (especially for acute infection). Since first published in 2003, the ‘Fiebig staging system’ has been used as the primary way of classifying early HIV infection into five sequential stages based on HIV test result patterns in newly diagnosed individuals. However, Fiebig stages can only be assigned to individuals who produce both a negative and a positive test result on the same day, on specific pairs of tests of varying ‘sensitivity’. Further, in the past 16 years HIV-testing technology has evolved substantially, and three of the five key assays used to define Fiebig stages are no longer widely used. To address these limitations, we developed an improved and more general framework for estimating the duration of HIV infection by interpreting any combination of diagnostic test results, whether obtained on single or multiple days, into an estimated date of detectable infection, or EDDI. A key advantage of the EDDI method over Fiebig staging is that it allows for the generation of a point estimate, as well as an associated credibility interval for the date of first detectable infection, for any person who has at least one positive and one negative HIV test of any kind. The tests do not have to be run on the same day; they do not have to be run during the acute phase of infection and the method does not rely on any special pairing of tests to define ‘stages’ of infection. The size of the interval surrounding the EDDI (and therefore the precision of the estimate itself) depends largely on the length of time between negative and positive tests. The EDDI approach is also flexible, seamlessly incorporating any assay for which there is a reasonable diagnostic delay estimate. An open-source, free online tool includes a user-updatable curated database of published diagnostic delays. HIV diagnostics have evolved tremendously since that original publication more than 15 years ago, and it is time to similarly evolve the methods used to estimate timing of infection. The EDDI method is a flexible and rigorous way to estimate the timing of HIV infection in a continuously evolving diagnostic landscape.
Columnar-jointed tuffs (bentonites) are located below the Lower Carboniferous Tideswell Dale Sill, Derbyshire, in an abandoned quarry. There are three zones of prismatic joints, columnar joints (∼60 cm thick and mean column width of 4.1 cm) and massive, conchoidally fractured rock sequentially from the dolerite contact downwards. The rocks are very fine-grained (1–10 µm) and consist mainly of sanidine, interlayered illite/smectite, and hematite, with minor quartz, apatite, montmorillonite, anatase and detrital minerals. High K2O and Fe2O3, low Na2O and low MgO are interpreted as due to alteration of felsic volcanic ash. The bentonite was contact-metamorphosed by the sill to temperatures of c. 300 °C. The progression of fracture geometries, thermal considerations and application of theories of column formation indicate that columns formed downwards away from the sill, due to prograde contact metamorphism of the originally clay-rich bentonite. The formation of columnar fracture networks by shrinkage due to igneous heating may have implications for the effectiveness of bentonite as a barrier for disposal of high-level radioactive waste. Regional dimensions include documenting widespread felsic explosive volcanism and inferring a Triassic oxidation event from palaeomagnetic data.
Supposing that Christ is impeccable – that, necessarily, Christ does not sin – what explains that impeccability? While there have been multiple theories of how the operations of Christ's human will could be fully free while Christ's sinlessness is nevertheless guaranteed, such accounts cannot be exploited to provide the requisite explanation. And not all of the divine purposes sufficient for becoming incarnate would also be sufficient to explain why Christ must be sinless. We should instead explain Christ's impeccability normatively, in terms of the reasons that God has to respond appropriately to God's own perfection by refraining from taking on a human nature with a will that ever opposes the divine will. Such reasons are reasons of divine holiness.
We have detected 27 new supernova remnants (SNRs) using a new data release of the GLEAM survey from the Murchison Widefield Array telescope, including the lowest surface brightness SNR ever detected, G 0.1 – 9.7. Our method uses spectral fitting to the radio continuum to derive spectral indices for 26/27 candidates, and our low-frequency observations probe a steeper spectrum population than previously discovered. None of the candidates have coincident WISE mid-IR emission, further showing that the emission is non-thermal. Using pulsar associations we derive physical properties for six candidate SNRs, finding G 0.1 – 9.7 may be younger than 10 kyr. Sixty per cent of the candidates subtend areas larger than 0.2 deg2 on the sky, compared to < 25% of previously detected SNRs. We also make the first detection of two SNRs in the Galactic longitude range 220°–240°.