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Recent studies suggest that close-range blast exposure (CBE), regardless of acute concussive symptoms, may have negative long-term effects on brain health and cognition; however, these effects are highly variable across individuals. One potential genetic risk factor that may impact recovery and explain the heterogeneity of blast injury’s long-term cognitive outcomes is the inheritance of an apolipoprotein (APOE) ε4 allele, a well-known genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. We hypothesized that APOE ε4 carrier status would moderate the impact of CBE on long-term cognitive outcomes.
To test this hypothesis, we examined 488 post-9/11 veterans who completed assessments of neuropsychological functioning, psychiatric diagnoses, history of blast exposure, military and non-military mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBIs), and available APOE genotypes. We separately examined the effects of CBE on attention, memory, and executive functioning in individuals with and without the APOE ε4 allele.
As predicted, we observed a differential impact of CBE status on cognition as a function of APOE ε4 status, in which CBE ε4 carriers displayed significantly worse neuropsychological performance, specifically in the domain of memory. These results persisted after adjusting for clinical, demographic, and genetic factors and were not observed when examining other neurotrauma variables (i.e., lifetime or military mTBI, distant blast exposure), though these variables displayed similar trends.
These results suggest APOE ε4 carriers are more vulnerable to the impact of CBE on cognition and highlight the importance of considering genetic risk when studying cognitive effects of neurotrauma.
Crisis resolution teams (CRTs) offer brief, intensive home treatment for people experiencing mental health crisis. CRT implementation is highly variable; positive trial outcomes have not been reproduced in scaled-up CRT care.
To evaluate a 1-year programme to improve CRTs’ model fidelity in a non-masked, cluster-randomised trial (part of the Crisis team Optimisation and RElapse prevention (CORE) research programme, trial registration number: ISRCTN47185233).
Fifteen CRTs in England received an intervention, informed by the US Implementing Evidence-Based Practice project, involving support from a CRT facilitator, online implementation resources and regular team fidelity reviews. Ten control CRTs received no additional support. The primary outcome was patient satisfaction, measured by the Client Satisfaction Questionnaire (CSQ-8), completed by 15 patients per team at CRT discharge (n = 375). Secondary outcomes: CRT model fidelity, continuity of care, staff well-being, in-patient admissions and bed use and CRT readmissions were also evaluated.
All CRTs were retained in the trial. Median follow-up CSQ-8 score was 28 in each group: the adjusted average in the intervention group was higher than in the control group by 0.97 (95% CI −1.02 to 2.97) but this was not significant (P = 0.34). There were fewer in-patient admissions, lower in-patient bed use and better staff psychological health in intervention teams. Model fidelity rose in most intervention teams and was significantly higher than in control teams at follow-up. There were no significant effects for other outcomes.
The CRT service improvement programme did not achieve its primary aim of improving patient satisfaction. It showed some promise in improving CRT model fidelity and reducing acute in-patient admissions.
Today, the world is facing the highest numbers of internally displaced persons and refugees since at least World War II. Addressing this crisis involves several challenges regarding the law and politics of displacement. To see how this plays out, it is helpful to zero in on a particular case. The case of the Rohingya minority from Myanmar who have been pushed out into Bangladesh is a particularly acute case, one involving atrocity crimes and ethnic cleansing.
This survey investigated interventions used by acute-care hospitals to reduce the detection of asymptomatic bacteriuria. Half of the respondents reported using reflex urine cultures but with varied urinalysis criteria and perceived outcomes. Other diagnostic stewardship interventions for urine culture ordering and specimen quality were less common.
Objectives: Research on the cognitive sequelae of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) suggests that, despite generally rapid recovery, difficulties may persist in the domain of cognitive control. The goal of this study was to examine whether individuals with chronic blast-related mTBI show behavioral or neural alterations associated with cognitive control. Methods: We collected event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data during a flanker task in 17 individuals with blast-related mTBI and 16 individuals with blast-exposure without TBI (control). Results: Groups did not significantly differ in behavioral measures of cognitive control. Relative to the control group, the mTBI group showed greater deactivation of regions associated with the default mode network during the processing of errors. Additionally, error processing in the mTBI group was associated with enhanced negative coupling between the default mode network and the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex as well as the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, regions of the salience and central executive networks that are associated with cognitive control. Conclusions: These results suggest that deactivation of default mode network regions and associated enhancements of connectivity with cognitive control regions may act as a compensatory mechanism for successful cognitive control task performance in mTBI. (JINS, 2018, 24, 1–11)
The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of a novel injury prevention intervention designed to prompt patients to initiate an injury prevention discussion with the ED physician, thus enabling injury prevention counselling and increasing bicycle helmet use among patients.
A repeated measures 2 x 3 randomized controlled trial design was used. Fourteen emergency physicians were observed for two shifts each between June and August 2013. Each pair of shifts was randomized to either an injury prevention shift, during which the emergency physician would wear a customized scrub top, or a control shift. The outcomes of interest were physician time spent discussing injury prevention, current helmet use, and self-reported change in helmet use rates at one year. Logistic regression analyses were used to examine the impact of the intervention.
The average time spent on injury prevention for all patients was 3.3 seconds. For those patients who actually received counselling, the average time spent was 17.0 seconds. The scrub top intervention did not significantly change helmet use rates at one year. The intervention also had no significant impact on patient decisions to change or reinforcement of helmet use.
Our study showed that the intervention did not increase physician injury prevention counselling or self-reported bicycle helmet use rates among patients. Given the study limitations, replication and extension of the intervention is warranted.