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Over 50% of inpatients with neurological disorders may present with a co-morbid psychiatric illness. Delirium has a reported point prevalence of 20% in hospital inpatients and is frequently undetected. We aimed to (1) examine inpatient referrals to a Liaison Neuropsychiatry service and (2) review the diagnosis and management of delirium before and after an educational intervention.
An initial 6-month audit of referrals to the inpatient Liaison Neuropsychiatry service was conducted in 2018. We then undertook a psychoeducational intervention to raise awareness of the diagnosis and management of delirium. We conducted a re-audit of referrals to the service in 2019.
On initial audit, of 84 referrals, the most common referral was for mood (38%; n = 32). Just 4% (n = 3) had a specific delirium query. Following assessment by Neuropsychiatry, organic disorders (43%; n = 32), including delirium (33%; n = 25), were the most common diagnoses. On re-audit, of 86 referrals, mood assessment remained the most common reason for referral (38%; n = 33) and 2% (n = 2) were referred for possible delirium. Organic disorders remained the most common diagnoses (53%; n = 45) including delirium (38%; n = 32). We found a significant increase in the use of the delirium protocol from 12% (n = 3) on initial audit to 47% (n = 15); p < 0.01 on re-audit despite no increase in the number of specific delirium queries.
A psychoeducational intervention improves the management of delirium by Neurologists and Neurosurgeons in patients with brain disorders.
This study investigated the latent factor structure of the NIH Toolbox Cognition Battery (NIHTB-CB) and its measurement invariance across clinical diagnosis and key demographic variables including sex, race/ethnicity, age, and education for a typical Alzheimer’s disease (AD) research sample.
The NIHTB-CB iPad English version, consisting of 7 tests, was administered to 411 participants aged 45–94 with clinical diagnosis of cognitively unimpaired, dementia, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), or impaired not MCI. The factor structure of the whole sample was first examined with exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and further refined using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Two groups were classified for each variable (diagnosis or demographic factors). The confirmed factor model was next tested for each group with CFA. If the factor structure was the same between the groups, measurement invariance was then tested using a hierarchical series of nested two-group CFA models.
A two-factor model capturing fluid cognition (executive function, processing speed, and memory) versus crystalized cognition (language) fit well for the whole sample and each group except for those with age < 65. This model generally had measurement invariance across sex, race/ethnicity, and education, and partial invariance across diagnosis. For individuals with age < 65, the language factor remained intact while the fluid cognition was separated into two factors: (1) executive function/processing speed and (2) memory.
The findings mostly supported the utility of the battery in AD research, yet revealed challenges in measuring memory for AD participants and longitudinal change in fluid cognition.
Patients with psychiatric illness are at increased risk of developing non-psychiatric medical illnesses. There have been positive reports regarding the integration of primary care services into mental health facilities. Here, we evaluate the appropriateness of psychiatry non-consultant hospital doctors (NCHD) transfers to the local emergency department (ED) in the context of an in-house primary care service.
We reviewed the inpatient transfers from St Patrick’s University Hospital (SPUH) to the local ED at St James’ Hospital (SJH) from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2017. We used inpatient admission to SJH as our primary marker of an appropriate transfer.
246 inpatients were transferred from SPUH to the SJH ED for medical review in the years 2016 and 2017. 27 (11%) of these were referred to the ED by the primary care service. 51% of those referred were admitted with similar rates of admission for both general practitioner (n = 27, 54% admitted) and NCHD initiated referrals (n = 219, 51% admitted). Acute neurological illness, concern regarding a cardiac illness, and deliberate self-harm were the most common reasons for referral.
Our primary finding is that, of those transferred to ED by either primary care or a psychiatry NCHD, a similar proportion was judged to be in need of inpatient admission. This indicates that as a group, psychiatry NCHD assessment of acuity and need for transfer was similar to that of their colleagues in primary care.
We examined race differences in the DSM-IV clinical significance criterion (CSC), an indicator of depressive role impairment, and its impact on assessment outcomes in older white and black women with diagnosed and subthreshold depression.
We conducted a secondary analysis of a community-based interview study, using group comparisons and logistic regression.
Lower-income neighborhoods in a Midwestern city.
411 community-dwelling depressed and non-depressed women ≥ 65 years (45.3% Black; mean age = 75.2, SD = 7.2) recruited through census tract-based telephone screening.
SCID interview for DSM-IV to assess major depression and dysthymia; Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale to define subthreshold depression (≥16 points); Mini-Mental State Examination, count of medical conditions, activities of daily living, and mental health treatment to assess health factors.
Black participants were less likely than Whites to endorse the CSC (11.8% vs. 24.1%; p = .002). There were few race differences in depressive symptom type, severity, or count. Blacks with subthreshold depression endorsed more symptoms, though this comparison was not significant after adjustments. Health factors did not account for race differences in CSC endorsement. Disregarding the CSC-eliminated differences in diagnosis rate, race was a significant predictor of CSC endorsement in a logistic regression.
Race differences in CSC endorsement are not due to depressive symptom presentations or health factors. The use of the CSC may lead to underdiagnosis of depression among black older adults. Subthreshold depression among Blacks may be more severe compared to Whites, thus requiring tailored assessment and treatment approaches.
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: 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)
Previously, it has been shown that strawberry (SB) or blueberry (BB) supplementations, when fed to rats from 19 to 21 months of age, reverse age-related decrements in motor and cognitive performance. We have postulated that these effects may be the result of a number of positive benefits of the berry polyphenols, including decreased stress signalling, increased neurogenesis, and increased signals involved in learning and memory. Thus, the present study was carried out to examine these mechanisms in aged animals by administering a control, 2 % SB- or 2 % BB-supplemented diet to aged Fischer 344 rats for 8 weeks to ascertain their effectiveness in reversing age-related deficits in behavioural and neuronal function. The results showed that rats consuming the berry diets exhibited enhanced motor performance and improved cognition, specifically working memory. In addition, the rats supplemented with BB and SB diets showed increased hippocampal neurogenesis and expression of insulin-like growth factor 1, although the improvements in working memory performance could not solely be explained by these increases. The diverse polyphenolics in these berry fruits may have additional mechanisms of action that could account for their relative differences in efficacy.
The system of weekly psychiatric ward rounds is being challenged and multi-disciplinary team meetings (MDTMs) involving inpatients have been developed. These aim to improve integration between medical and social services and increase patient involvement in their care. However, such large meetings are potentially threatening to the patient. This survey aimed to examine inpatient experience of MDTMs and identify factors that significantly alter this experience.
In this cross-sectional survey we assessed patient opinion regarding patient inclusive MDTMs in a psychiatric inpatient unit. A total of 27 participants (response rate 90%) were included. We utilised descriptive statistics and Fisher’s exact test for non-parametric data where appropriate.
In all, 85% (n=23) of patients identified the consultant psychiatrist as a member that they would like to have present at the MDTM. The ward nurse was identified by 63% (n=17) of patients. In all, 48% (n=13) of patients reported feeling anxious/threatened at the MDTM. In all, 70% (n=19) of patients stated that they would have felt less threatened at the MDTM if there were fewer people in attendance. A significant number of voluntary patients (n=11) felt threatened/anxious at the MDTM compared with involuntary patients (n=2) (χ2=4.921, df=1, p=0.026).
The central findings of this study are that patients would prefer fewer people at the MDTM and would feel less threatened/anxious if they participated in selecting those in attendance. These findings suggest that greater patient involvement in preparation for the MDTM could result in a less anxiety filled experience for them.
In January and February 2009, a series of water samples were collected from streams on Byers Peninsula. These samples were analysed for major elements and δ18O to determine the role of lithology and landscape position on stream geochemistry, and to understand better the hydrology (i.e. residence time of water) of these systems. Precipitation chemistry is enriched in Na+, as are the streams located close to the coast. Streams originating from inland locations have much higher percentages of Ca2+. In contrast, Mg2+ varied little, though streams that are in greater contact with volcanic-derived soils have slightly higher concentrations. Anion percentages varied greatly between streams with SO42- ranging from 5% to 45% of the anion composition. Dissolved Si concentrations as high as 141 μM were observed. All these data suggest that active chemical weathering is occurring in this region. A time series over 13 days at one stream showed little variation in major element geochemistry. The δ18O of precipitation samples collected over this same period varied by ∼10‰ while the majority of stream samples varied less than ∼1.5‰. These data indicate that the stream waters represent mixtures of precipitation events, melting snow and water from the subsurface that had gained solutes through chemical weathering.
Previous comet flyby missions enabled detailed studies of the photometric properties of several cometary nuclei from disk-resolved images, including 9P/Tempel 1, 19P/Borrelly, and 81P/Wild 2. Two recent missions, DIXI and Stardust-NExT, encountered Comets 103P/Hartley 2 and Tempel 1 respectively, expanding the pool of sampled cometary nuclei in their unique ways: Hartley 2 is a hyperactive comet; Tempel 1 was visited and impacted by the Deep Impact dual-spacecraft during its previous perihelion passage. Photometric modeling shows that the global photometric properties of the nuclei of Hartley 2 and Tempel 1 are similar to those of other cometary nuclei. The photometric variation of the hyperactive nucleus of Hartley 2 is about 15%, similar to that of weakly active comets Tempel 1 and Wild 2. The photometric properties of Tempel 1 measured by NExT suggest little change from those measured by DI. These results, together with the photometric properties of Wild 2 and Borrelly, indicate that the photometric properties of cometary nuclei are independent of the activity level and gross geomorphology of cometary nuclei. Instead, cometary nucleus photometric properties might be determined by its outgassing, which leaves low-albedo deposit on the surface and forms similar photometric texture. The time scale for the photometric alteration on cometary nuclei due to outgassing should be much shorter than the dynamic time scale.
There have been fundamental changes in the intergenerational family, and yet families continue to be an important part of people's lives. We use the convoy model to describe the factors that influence supportive relations within intergenerational families, beginning with a description of the changing structure of the intergenerational family. We next outline support exchanges, detailing how personal characteristics, especially gender, race, age and socio-economic status, and situational characteristics, in particular family structure and intergenerational context, influence support exchanges. Instrumental and emotional family exchanges are described, with special attention to the unique circumstances of care-giving in intergenerational families. We also examine the importance of recognising differences in the quality of intergenerational relations, again noting the influence of personal and situational characteristics. Variations in support quality, e.g. positive, negative and ambivalent, and its influence on wellbeing are discussed. As families and individuals change, differences emerge at the individual, family and societal levels. We consider the implications of changes and stability in intergenerational relations and make recommendations about how best to envisage and plan future intergenerational family support. Societies with fewer resources as well as individuals and families with diverse individual histories must be innovative and creative in meeting the needs of older people as well as those of all family members.