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To assess the Framingham risk score as a prognostic tool for idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss patients.
Medical records were reviewed for unilateral idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss patients between January 2010 and October 2017. The 10-year risk of developing cardiovascular disease was calculated. Patients were subdivided into groups: group 1 – Framingham risk score of less than 10 per cent (n = 28); group 2 – score of 10 to less than 20 per cent (n = 6); and group 3 – score of 20 per cent or higher (n = 5).
Initial pure tone average and Framingham risk score were not significantly associated (p = 0.32). Thirteen patients in group 1 recovered completely (46.4 per cent), but none in groups 2 and 3 showed complete recovery. Initial pure tone average and Framingham risk score were significantly associated in multivariable linear regression analysis (R2 = 0.36). The regression coefficient was 0.33 (p = 0.003) for initial pure tone average and −0.67 (p = 0.005) for Framingham risk score.
Framingham risk score may be useful in predicting outcomes for idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss patients, as those with a higher score showed poorer hearing recovery.
Cognitive impairment was found related to higher mortality among the elders. However, study results about cognitive malfunction at earlier stages of specialist assessment or treatment to mortality for the ones without dementia were still in debate. An anonymised electronic database in South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLAM) covering 1.2 million population was utilised to assess the influence of cognitive impairment measured by Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) to survival among the clients 65+ years old when firstly assessed during 2007-2010. They were followed up for survival till the end of July, 2011 by the linkage to National Health Services in UK. Overall and subgroup analyses for specific diagnoses were done by Cox regressions. Age, gender, psychiatric diagnosis, ethnicity, marital status, primary care trust, and deprivation score were considered as potential confounders. A total of 7,196 subjects were identified, including 3,674 subjects diagnosed as dementia, 1,435 as depression and 492 as delirium. The adjusted hazard ratios of MMSE score in quintiles (30- 28, 37-25, 24-21, 20-16 and 15-0) when firstly assessed in SLAM were 1.19, 1.36, 1.69 and 2.13 (95% CIs: 0.99-1.42, 1.15- 1.62, 1.42-2.01 and 1.79-2.55) with 1st quintile as reference group (p-value of test for trend < 0.01). Except the delirium group, analyses for all the ones but dementia excluded, the depression group, and depression group with dementia excluded revealed similar outcomes. In current study, we identified a universal effect of cognitive impairment to mortality. Declining cognition function might reflect underlying physical conditions leading to death.
Compared to the general population, people with schizophrenia have a substantially higher risk of premature mortality which translates into a 10–15 year reduction in life expectancy. The aim of this investigation was to determine if symptoms (including aggression, hallucinations or delusions, and depression) or the environmental and functional status of people with schizophrenia contribute to the high mortality risk observed in this patient group.
We identified cases of schizophrenia, aged ≥15 years in a large secondary mental healthcare case register linked to national mortality tracing. We modelled the effect of specific symptoms, activities of daily living (ADLs), living conditions, occupational and recreational activities (Health of the Nation Outcome Scale [HoNOS] subscales) on all-cause mortality over a 4-year observation period (2007-10) using Cox regression.
We identified 4270 schizophrenia cases (170 deaths) in the observation period. After controlling for a broad range of covariates, mortality was not significantly associated with hallucinations and delusions or overactive-aggressive behaviour, but was associated with subclinical depression (adjusted HR 1.5; 95% CI 1.1-2.2) and ADL impairment (adjusted HR 1.8; 95% CI 1.2-2.9).
Severity of symptoms, such as delusions and hallucinations, was less important in predicting mortality than subclinical depression and difficulties carrying out activities of daily living. The overall picture appears to be one where the highest all-cause mortality risk is in service users who are least visible to clinical teams.
With the widespread of atypical antipsychotics used among children and adolescents, the treatment effectiveness has been of great interest alongside with the efficacy and safety in this population. The study was designed to assess whether second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) are associated with lower service costs in the real world. Factors associated with service costs were also examined.
The claim data (PIMC) of 1996-2008 from the National Insurance Plan of Taiwan was used. Patients aged less than 20 with an incident use of antipsychotics and last for 12 months during this period were included for analysis. Comparisons were made between 8 SGAs and 2 first-generation antipsychotics (FGAs). Changes in service costs were examined with 95% confidence interval. Multivariate regressions with propensity scores adjustment were performed to explore factors associated with psychiatric service costs.
A total of 343 treatment encounters were included and results showed no difference in psychiatric services costs in the SGAs group as the total service costs were offset to high antipsychotics costs of SGAs, though antiparkinsonian costs were not different between two groups. Factor positively associated with service costs were relapse (RR=4.0, p< 0.0001) and EPS incidence (RR=1.6, p< 0.008), while types of antipsychotics and diagnoses were not significant factors after adjusting for covariates.
Service costs were not different between FGAs and SGAs groups and medication costs were significantly higher in the SGAs group. Relapse and EPS incidence were factors of high costs among children and adolescents psychiatric patients treated with antipsychotics in Taiwan.
The life expectancy gap between people with severe mental illness (SMI) and the general population persists and may even be widening. This study aimed to estimate contributions of specific causes of death to the gap. Age of death and primary cause of death were used to estimate life expectancy at birth for people with SMI from a large mental healthcare case register during 2007–2012. Using data for England and Wales in 2010, death rates in the SMI cohort for each primary cause of death category were replaced with gender- and age-specific norms for that cause. Life expectancy in SMI was then re-calculated and, thus, the contribution of that specific cause of death estimated. Natural causes accounted for 79.2% of lost life-years in women with SMI and 78.6% in men. Deaths from circulatory disorders accounted for more life-years lost in women than men (22.0% versus 17.4%, respectively), as did deaths from cancer (8.1% versus 0%), but the contribution from respiratory disorders was lower in women than men (13.7% versus 16.5%). For women, cancer contributed more in those with non-affective than affective disorders, while suicide, respiratory and digestive disorders contributed more in those with affective disorders. In men, respiratory disorders contributed more in non-affective disorders. Other contributions were similar between gender and affective/non-affective groups. Loss of life expectancy in people with SMI is accounted for by a broad range of causes of death, varying by gender and diagnosis. Interventions focused on multiple rather than individual causes of death should be prioritised accordingly.
To assess the impact of a newly developed Central-Line Insertion Site Assessment (CLISA) score on the incidence of local inflammation or infection for CLABSI prevention.
A pre- and postintervention, quasi-experimental quality improvement study.
Setting and participants:
Adult inpatients with central venous catheters (CVCs) hospitalized in an intensive care unit or oncology ward at a large academic medical center.
We evaluated CLISA score impact on insertion site inflammation and infection (CLISA score of 2 or 3) incidence in the baseline period (June 2014–January 2015) and the intervention period (April 2015–October 2017) using interrupted times series and generalized linear mixed-effects multivariable analyses. These were run separately for days-to-line removal from identification of a CLISA score of 2 or 3. CLISA score interrater reliability and photo quiz results were evaluated.
Among 6,957 CVCs assessed 40,846 times, percentage of lines with CLISA score of 2 or 3 in the baseline and intervention periods decreased by 78.2% (from 22.0% to 4.7%), with a significant immediate decrease in the time-series analysis (P < .001). According to the multivariable regression, the intervention was associated with lower percentage of lines with a CLISA score of 2 or 3, after adjusting for age, gender, CVC body location, and hospital unit (odds ratio, 0.15; 95% confidence interval, 0.06–0.34; P < .001). According to the multivariate regression, days to removal of lines with CLISA score of 2 or 3 was 3.19 days faster after the intervention (P < .001). Also, line dwell time decreased 37.1% from a mean of 14 days (standard deviation [SD], 10.6) to 8.8 days (SD, 9.0) (P < .001). Device utilization ratios decreased 9% from 0.64 (SD, 0.08) to 0.58 (SD, 0.06) (P = .039).
The CLISA score creates a common language for assessing line infection risk and successfully promotes high compliance with best practices in timely line removal.
Abnormal effort-based decision-making represents a potential mechanism underlying motivational deficits (amotivation) in psychotic disorders. Previous research identified effort allocation impairment in chronic schizophrenia and focused mostly on physical effort modality. No study has investigated cognitive effort allocation in first-episode psychosis (FEP).
Cognitive effort allocation was examined in 40 FEP patients and 44 demographically-matched healthy controls, using Cognitive Effort-Discounting (COGED) paradigm which quantified participants’ willingness to expend cognitive effort in terms of explicit, continuous discounting of monetary rewards based on parametrically-varied cognitive demands (levels N of N-back task). Relationship between reward-discounting and amotivation was investigated. Group differences in reward-magnitude and effort-cost sensitivity, and differential associations of these sensitivity indices with amotivation were explored.
Patients displayed significantly greater reward-discounting than controls. In particular, such discounting was most pronounced in patients with high levels of amotivation even when N-back performance and reward base amount were taken into consideration. Moreover, patients exhibited reduced reward-benefit sensitivity and effort-cost sensitivity relative to controls, and that decreased sensitivity to reward-benefit but not effort-cost was correlated with diminished motivation. Reward-discounting and sensitivity indices were generally unrelated to other symptom dimensions, antipsychotic dose and cognitive deficits.
This study provides the first evidence of cognitive effort-based decision-making impairment in FEP, and indicates that decreased effort expenditure is associated with amotivation. Our findings further suggest that abnormal effort allocation and amotivation might primarily be related to blunted reward valuation. Prospective research is required to clarify the utility of effort-based measures in predicting amotivation and functional outcome in FEP.
Better understanding of interplay among symptoms, cognition and functioning in first-episode psychosis (FEP) is crucial to promoting functional recovery. Network analysis is a promising data-driven approach to elucidating complex interactions among psychopathological variables in psychosis, but has not been applied in FEP.
This study employed network analysis to examine inter-relationships among a wide array of variables encompassing psychopathology, premorbid and onset characteristics, cognition, subjective quality-of-life and psychosocial functioning in 323 adult FEP patients in Hong Kong. Graphical Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO) combined with extended Bayesian information criterion (BIC) model selection was used for network construction. Importance of individual nodes in a generated network was quantified by centrality analyses.
Our results showed that amotivation played the most central role and had the strongest associations with other variables in the network, as indexed by node strength. Amotivation and diminished expression displayed differential relationships with other nodes, supporting the validity of two-factor negative symptom structure. Psychosocial functioning was most strongly connected with amotivation and was weakly linked to several other variables. Within cognitive domain, digit span demonstrated the highest centrality and was connected with most of the other cognitive variables. Exploratory analysis revealed no significant gender differences in network structure and global strength.
Our results suggest the pivotal role of amotivation in psychopathology network of FEP and indicate its critical association with psychosocial functioning. Further research is required to verify the clinical significance of diminished motivation on functional outcome in the early course of psychotic illness.
The second Singapore Mental Health Study (SMHS) – a nationwide, cross-sectional, epidemiological survey - was initiated in 2016 with the intent of tracking the state of mental health of the general population in Singapore. The study employed the same methodology as the first survey initiated in 2010. The SMHS 2016 aimed to (i) establish the 12-month and lifetime prevalence and correlates of major depressive disorder (MDD), dysthymia, bipolar disorder, generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) (which included alcohol abuse and dependence) and (ii) compare the prevalence of these disorders with reference to data from the SMHS 2010.
Door-to-door household surveys were conducted with adult Singapore residents aged 18 years and above from 2016 to 2018 (n = 6126) which yielded a response rate of 69.0%. The subjects were randomly selected using a disproportionate stratified sampling method and assessed using World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview version 3.0 (WHO-CIDI 3.0). The diagnoses of lifetime and 12-month selected mental disorders including MDD, dysthymia, bipolar disorder, GAD, OCD, and AUD (alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence), were based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) criteria.
The lifetime prevalence of at least one mood, anxiety or alcohol use disorder was 13.9% in the adult population. MDD had the highest lifetime prevalence (6.3%) followed by alcohol abuse (4.1%). The 12-month prevalence of any DSM-IV mental disorders was 6.5%. OCD had the highest 12-month prevalence (2.9%) followed by MDD (2.3%). Lifetime and 12-month prevalence of mental disorders assessed in SMHS 2016 (13.8% and 6.4%) was significantly higher than that in SMHS 2010 (12.0% and 4.4%). A significant increase was observed in the prevalence of lifetime GAD (0.9% to 1.6%) and alcohol abuse (3.1% to 4.1%). The 12-month prevalence of GAD (0.8% vs. 0.4%) and OCD (2.9% vs. 1.1%) was significantly higher in SMHS 2016 as compared to SMHS 2010.
The high prevalence of OCD and the increase across the two surveys needs to be tackled at a population level both in terms of creating awareness of the disorder and the need for early treatment. Youth emerge as a vulnerable group who are more likely to be associated with mental disorders and thus targeted interventions in this group with a focus on youth friendly and accessible care centres may lead to earlier detection and treatment of mental disorders.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
Knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of the population regarding severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) in endemic areas of Lu'an in China were assessed before and after an intervention programme. The pre-intervention phase was conducted using a sample of 425 participants from the 12 selected villages with the highest rates of endemic SFTS infection. A predesigned interview questionnaire was used to assess KAP. Subsequently, an intervention programme was designed and applied in the selected villages. KAP was re-assessed for each population in the selected villages using the same interview questionnaire. Following 2 months of the programme, 339 participants had completed the re-assessed survey. The impact of the intervention programme was evaluated using suitable statistical methods. A significant increase in the KAP and total KAP scores was noted following the intervention programme, whereas the proportion of correct knowledge, the positive attitudes and the effective practices toward SFTS of respondents increased significantly. The intervention programme was effective in improving KAP level of SFTS in populations that were resident in endemic areas.
Detrimental effects of ultraviolet (UV) light on living organisms are well understood, little is known about the effects of blue light irradiation. Although a recent study revealed that blue light caused more harmful effects on insects than UV light and blue light irradiation killed insect pests of various orders including Diptera, the effects of blue light on physiology of insects are still largely unknown. Here we studied the effects of blue light irradiation on cuticular melanin in larval and the immune response in adult stage of Bactrocera dorsalis. We also evaluated the effects of blue light exposure in larval stage on various age and mass at metamorphosis and the mediatory role of cuticular melanin in carryover effects of larval stressors across metamorphosis. We found that larvae exposed to blue light decreased melanin contents in their exoskeleton with smaller mass and delayed metamorphosis than insects reared without blue light exposure. Across metamorphosis, lower melanotic encapsulation response and higher susceptibility to Beauveria bassiana was detected in adults that had been exposed to blue light at their larval stage, thereby constituting the first evidence that blue light impaired adult immune function in B. dorsalis as a carryover effect of larval exposure.
Given the concerns regarding the adverse health outcomes associated with weight gain and metabolic syndrome in relation to use of second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs), we aimed in this study to explore whether the increase in the use of SGAs would have any impacts on the trend of excess mortality in people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (BPD).
Two nationwide samples of individuals with schizophrenia and BPD were identified in Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database in 2003 and in 2008, respectively. Age- and gender-standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were calculated for each of the 3-year observation periods. The SMRs were compared between the calendar year cohorts, by disease group, and by causes of death.
The mortality gap for people with schizophrenia decreased slightly, revealing an SMR of 3.40 (95% CI 3.30–3.50) for the 2003 cohort and 3.14 (3.06–3.23) for the 2008 cohort. The mortality gap for BPD individuals remained relatively stable with only those aged 15–44 years having an SMR rising significantly from 7.04 (6.38–7.76) to 9.10 (8.44–9.79). Additionally, in this group of BPD patients aged 15–44 years, the natural-cause-SMR increased from 5.65 (4.93–6.44) to 7.16 (6.46–7.91).
Compared with the general population, the gap in the excess mortality for people with schizophrenia reduced slightly. However, the over 200% difference between the cohorts in the excess mortality for BPD individuals aged 15–44 years could be a warning sign. Future research to further examine the related factors underlying those changes is warranted.
Better understanding of the complex interplay among key determinants of functional outcome is crucial to promoting recovery in psychotic disorders. However, this is understudied in the early course of illness. We aimed to examine the relationships among negative symptoms, neurocognition, general self-efficacy and global functioning in first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients using structural equation modeling (SEM).
Three hundred and twenty-one Chinese patients aged 26–55 years presenting with FEP to an early intervention program in Hong Kong were recruited. Assessments encompassing symptom profiles, functioning, perceived general self-efficacy and a battery of neurocognitive tests were conducted. Negative symptom measurement was subdivided into amotivation and diminished expression (DE) domain scores based on the ratings in the Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms.
An initial SEM model showed no significant association between functioning and DE which was removed from further analysis. A final trimmed model yielded very good model fit (χ2 = 15.48, p = 0.63; comparative fit index = 1.00; root mean square error of approximation <0.001) and demonstrated that amotivation, neurocognition and general self-efficacy had a direct effect on global functioning. Amotivation was also found to mediate a significant indirect effect of neurocognition and general self-efficacy on functioning. Neurocognition was not significantly related to general self-efficacy.
Our results indicate a critical intermediary role of amotivation in linking neurocognitive impairment to functioning in FEP. General self-efficacy may represent a promising treatment target for improvement of motivational deficits and functional outcome in the early illness stage.
The RNAse III endonuclease DICER is a key regulator of microRNA (miRNA) biogenesis and is frequently down-regulated in a variety of malignancies. We characterized the role of Dicer in glioblastoma (GB), specifically demonstrating its effects on the ability of glioma stem-like cells to form tumors in a mouse model of GB. DICER silencing in glioma stem-like cells (GSCs) reduced their stem cell characteristics, while tumors arising from these cells were more aggressive, larger in volume, and displayed a higher proliferation index and lineage differentiation. The resulting tumors, however, were more sensitive to radiation treatment. Our results demonstrate that DICER affects the tumorigenic potential of GSCs, providing a platform for analysis of specific relevant miRNAs and development of potentially novel therapies against GB.
Relapse is distressingly common after the first episode of psychosis, yet it is poorly understood and difficult to predict. Investigating changes in cognitive function preceding relapse may provide new insights into the underlying mechanism of relapse in psychosis. We hypothesized that relapse in fully remitted first-episode psychosis patients was preceded by working memory deterioration.
Visual memory and verbal working memory were monitored prospectively in a 1-year randomized controlled trial of remitted first-episode psychosis patients assigned to medication continuation (quetiapine 400 mg/day) or discontinuation (placebo). Relapse (recurrence of positive symptoms of psychosis), visual (Visual Patterns Test) and verbal (Letter–Number span test) working memory and stressful life events were assessed monthly.
Remitted first-episode patients (n = 102) participated in the study. Relapsers (n = 53) and non-relapsers (n = 49) had similar baseline demographic and clinical profiles. Logistic regression analyses indicated relapse was associated with visual working memory deterioration 2 months before relapse [odds ratio (OR) 3.07, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.19–7.92, P = 0.02], more stressful life events 1 month before relapse (OR 2.11, 95% CI 1.20–3.72, P = 0.01) and medication discontinuation (OR 5.52, 95% CI 2.08–14.62, P = 0.001).
Visual working memory deterioration beginning 2 months before relapse in remitted first-episode psychosis patients (not baseline predictor) may reflect early brain dysfunction that heralds a psychotic relapse. The deterioration was found to be unrelated to a worsening of psychotic symptoms preceding relapse. Testable predictors offer insight into the brain processes underlying relapse in psychosis.
A nationwide population-based cohort was used to examine the severity of liver cirrhosis and risk of mortality from oral cancer.
The cohort consisted of 3583 patients with oral cancer treated by surgery between 2008 and 2011 in Taiwan. They were grouped on the basis of normal liver function (n = 3471), cirrhosis without decompensation (n = 72) and cirrhosis with decompensation (n = 40). The primary endpoint was mortality. Hazard ratios of death were also determined.
The mortality rates in the respective groups were 14.8 per cent, 20.8 per cent and 37.5 per cent at one year (p < 0.001). The adjusted hazard ratios of death at one year for each group compared to the normal group were 2.01 (p = 0.021) for cirrhotic patients without decompensation, 4.84 (p < 0.001) for those with decompensation and 2.65 (p < 0.001) for those receiving chemotherapy.
Liver cirrhosis can be used to predict one-year mortality in oral cancer patients. Chemotherapy should be used with caution and underlying co-morbidities should be managed in cirrhotic patients to reduce mortality risk.
Population decline resulting from agricultural intensification led to contraction of the range of the cirl bunting Emberiza cirlus in the UK to a small area of south Devon. As part of the UK Biodiversity Action Plan for the species, a project to re-establish a population in suitable habitat in Cornwall was undertaken during 2006–2011, in which chicks were removed from the nest in Devon, hand-reared and then delayed-released. The survival of the birds to four time points in the year after release was analysed in relation to the effect of rearing factors, using a multivariable logistic regression model. Individuals with higher body weight at capture were more likely to survive to 1 January and 1 May in the year following release, and individuals released in June and July were more likely to survive than those released in August. Individuals released in 2006 and 2011 had a higher survival rate than those released during 2007–2010. Timing of capture, time spent at each stage in captivity, medication and the detection of parasites in the brood had no significant effect. Immunosuppressive disease, weather factors and predator activity may have led to some of the observed differences in survival. This analysis provides evidence with which to plan future translocation projects for cirl buntings and other passerine birds.